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What does the La Niña forecast mean for the next Atlantic tropical season?

While the 2017 tropical season in the Atlantic is not yet over, it is ramping down and (we hope) will not bring much more action to the Southeast. But it is interesting to look at how the developing La Niña conditions might affect next year’s season.  Usually La Niña lasts for a few months and then swings back to neutral conditions, so even if La Niña is over by June 1, 2018, we are still likely to be in neutral conditions and not in an El Niño.  Neutral conditions mean that the tropics are likely to be active again next year, particularly early in the season.  After that, it depends on whether ENSO swings back to an  El Niño, which might suppress development later in the season due to strong subtropical winds which could blow the top off of developing tropical waves. You can read more at New Scientist here.

Hurricane winds drive a 10-foot 2×4 through a palm tree in Puerto Rico, 1928. Source: NOAA via Commons Wikimedia.