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Latest La Niña update shows it’s expected to stay through winter

NOAA put out their latest La Niña outlook earlier this week. As expected from last month, La Niña conditions are becoming more entrenched and the pattern is expected to last through winter and into spring. The sea surface temperatures and subsurface temperatures both indicate that the La Niña has become more firmly established. One of the things this shows is that predictions from last spring, before the spring “predictability barrier,” were not very accurate, since they were calling at that time for a somewhat likely chance of an El Niño. At that time climatologists were somewhat skeptical that this would happen because the pattern of El Niño to La Niño back right away to El Niño has not happened in the last few decades, although it is not that unusual to get back-to-back La Niñas. So that should teach us to remember that any forecast for next winter that we make this spring should have some fairly large caveats on it.

You can read more about what La Niña is and what the current situation is like at https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/november-2017-la-ni%C3%B1a-update-she%E2%80%99s-back.