What is La Niña?
La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures
in the eastern equatorial Pacific, as compared to El Niño,
which is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in
the Equatorial Pacific. Click
here for a whole list of frequently asked questions.
Previous Cold Phases
La Niñas occurred in 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1924, 1928,
1938, 1950, 1955, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1995
Temperature and Precipitation
Impacts During La Niña
Seasonal mean temperatures and precipitation maps for the United
States during strong La Niña are available from NOAA's
National Climate Prediction Center.
Typical La Niña Impacts
La Niña tends to bring nearly opposite effects of El Niño
to the United States wetter than normal conditions across
the Pacific Northwest and dryer and warmer than normal conditions
across much of the southern tier. The impacts of El Niño
and La Niña at these latitudes are most clearly seen in
wintertime. In the continental U.S., during El Niño years,
temperatures in the winter are warmer than normal in the North
Central States, and cooler than normal in the Southeast and the
Southwest. During a La Niña year, winter temperatures
are warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal
in the Northwest.
What does La Niña mean?
La Niña means "The Little Girl." La Niña
is sometimes called El Viejo (Old Man), anti-El Niño,
or simply "a cold event" or "a cold episode".
ENSO/La Niña Forecast
a list of NOAA Internet sites with additional La Niña
IDEAS for REPORTERS || NOAA PUBLIC AFFAIRS || REPORTER
The National Centers for
Environmental Prediction's (NCEP) Climate
Prediction Center forecasts (ENSO Advisory, June 9, 1998)
indicate strengthening cold episode conditions in the tropical
Pacific during the remainder of 1998. Other statistical and coupled
model forecasts indicate a similar evolution. The predictions
during May indicate that a cold episode will likely develop during
the next six months and continue through the northern 1998-99
For more information contact John
Leslie at (301) 713-0622.
2000 PRESS RELEASES || NOAA