The latest Update from the World Meteorological Organization indicates that weak La Niña conditions may develop (50-55% probability) in the next few months for the second consecutive year, influencing global weather.
La Niña, also known as a ‘cold event’, refers to the large-scale cooling of the ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific along with changes in the tropical atmospheric circulation.
El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of atmosphere-ocean interplay over the tropical Pacific, collectively referred to as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
They have opposite effects on weather and climate patterns. Areas which receive below average rainfall during an El Niño tend to receive above average rainfall during a La Niña and vice versa.
“Large-scale climate events like La Niña extend their influence over countries which are home to many millions of people. Our ability to predict these events in advance is vitally important to help planning in sensitive sectors like farming, water management, public health, energy and transport and provide early warnings of the associated risks,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.