As winter approaches, everyone starts to wonder what the weather will be like. Will it be a cold and snowy winter? Or a warm and rainy one? The answer may lie in the La Nina weather pattern.
We anticipate that the first-ever triple La Nina of the century, encompassing three consecutive Northern hemisphere winters, could become a lasting climate pattern by the end of next year. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), forecasted that the unusual La Nina could lead to pivotal historical overlaps of extreme weather patterns in several regions.
La Nina is a weather pattern that is characterized by cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. This can cause changes in global atmospheric circulation patterns and influence the amount of precipitation that falls around the world.
To grasp the Winter season, we have to recognize that there are multiple causes of weather. Global weather is a complex system, with numerous large-scale and small-scale driving forces.
WEATHER FROM THE OCEAN
Oceans cover approximately 70% of the worlds surface area and play an important role in the Earth s weather system. In the image below, you can see the interaction between the air and the ocean. It is a fairly complex system, but you can see how it has many small-scale and large-scale factors.
For the sea, it is more important to look at long-term weather. At the same time, the weather influences how we see the ocean's difficulties.
The trade winds have a crucial function in the production of the weather. They blend the sea surface layers, affecting the sea surface currents and temperature and pressure. So, it's possible for precipitation and pressure levels to become altered.
EL NINO SOUTHERN OSCILLATION WEATHER PATTERNS
El Nino Southern Oscillation is short for ENSO, which refers to an equatorial region of the Pacific ocean that alternates between warm and cold periods. Typically, there is an ENSO phase change in about every 1-3 years. The cold stage of this is La Nina, the hot stage is El Nino. Currently, we are coming into the 3rd year of the La Nina phase which is a extremely rare occurrence.
El Niño significantly affects tropical rainfall, wind patterns, and the complex exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. La Nina forms during strong trade winds, which shows data about overall global circulation.
THE WINTER JET STREAM
The most noticeable effect of ocean patterns can be seen in the changing jet stream. The jet stream is a gigantic and powerful stream of air that’s around 8 to 11 km high. The jet stream is a fast flowing, narrow current of air that flows in a west to east direction around the Northern Hemisphere. The jet stream interacts with pressure systems and shapes our weather on the surface. The jet stream is strongest in winter and weakest in summer.
The jet stream affects our weather by steering weather systems across the country. When the jet stream is strong, it can create severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, and large hail. When the jet stream is weaker, we tend to see milder weather conditions.
As winter approaches, the jet stream starts to shift southward, bringing colder temperatures and storms from the polar regions down into northern and northwestern United States. This shift in the jet stream is caused by the difference in air pressure between the warm air over the equator and the cold air over the poles. The jet stream is a narrow band of fast-moving air that helps to balance out these differences in temperature.
As the jet stream shifts southward, it brings colder air with it from the polar regions. This can lead to more storms and snowfall in northern and northwestern United States. The jet stream is an important part of our weather patterns and can have a big impact on our climate.
Following passing through the US and Canada, the jet stream moves into the North Atlantic. It depends to a large extent on the range of the overall circulation patterns and the intensity or patterns of the atmospheric pressure systems in the Atlantic.
La Nina is more likely to miss a direct effect on Europe than the regional climate of the temperate Atlantic. Nevertheless, it still frequently plays a beneficial role in ensuring the outcome of other weather systems.
THE 2022-2023 WINTER SEASON
As we move into the heart of winter, all eyes turn to the forecast in hopes of finally getting a reprieve from the cold. This year, however, it looks like we may be in for even more snow than usual.
According to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), there is a higher than normal chance for increased snowfall in western and northwestern Canada. This is due to the La Nina weather pattern that is currently affecting the area.
The La Nina winter forecast is looking increasingly likely for most of western and central Canada. This winter is expected to be colder than normal, with more snowfall than usual. La Nina winters are typically characterized by below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. This winter, we can expect increased snowfall across the country, especially in areas that are typically snowier than average. So, if you're planning on spending any time outdoors this winter, make sure you're prepared for some cold weather!
Graphics and statistics from this article are provided by Severe Weather Europe