November 10, 2016 – La Niña has arrived and is favored to stick around through winter. Forecasters say the climate phenomena will likely contribute to drier and warmer weather in the southern U.S. and wetter, cooler conditions in the Pacific Northwest and across to the northern tier of the nation this winter.

NOAA scientists declared the arrival of La Niña on Nov. 10, calling it present, but weak. It is predicted to be short-lived, possibly only lasting a few months. La Niña is associated with cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, which trigger changes in the atmosphere. This ocean-atmosphere coupling impacts the position of the Pacific jet stream influencing weather and climate patterns around the globe.

“A weak La Niña is in place and is likely to remain for the winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The weak La Niña is likely to contribute to persisting or developing drought across much of the southern U.S. this winter.”

This La Niña follows one of the strongest El Niños on record, which ended in June. Recent La Niña years include 2011-2012; 2010-2011; 2007-2008; and 2000-2001. Find out more about La Niña on the ENSO Blog.

What to expect this winter: NOAA’s Winter Outlook.