La Nina's Return May Lead to More Hurricanes and Drought

March 14, 2007

The short-lived El Nino pattern of 2006-2007 is likely already transitioning to a La Nina pattern, NOAA officials said Feb. 28, 2007.

Although mild in intensity, the latest El Nino was strong enough to knock down many hurricanes in the Atlantic in 2006. But a typical La Nina, with its cooler-than-normal surface water temperatures in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific, tends to result in more Atlantic hurricanes and fewer Pacific hurricanes. A La Nina also can contribute to drought in the western and southern US, and has other impacts in North America and around the world.

The La Nina will likely influence NOAA's "Spring Outlook," scheduled to be issued March 15, 2007, as well as the "Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook" on tap for May 2007.