Thursday, May 3, 2012

La Niña Is Dead

Today the Climate Prediction Center issued it's "final La Niña advisory," which marks the end of this latest La Niña episode.  As discussed in the advisory, La Niña is unlikely to redevelop this year.  The long-range outlook is for neutral (meaning no La Niña or El Niño conditions) or El Niño conditions later in the year.

As we have discussed previously, Wasatch snowfall does not correlate with the existence of La Niña or El Niño.  Just look at the snowfall contrast between the last two winters, both featuring La Niña conditions.  We sit on the fulcrum of the El Niño/La Niña precipitation seesaw, which makes it impossible to reliably predict snowfall based on the anticipated development of La Niña or El Niño conditions.  For example, look at the distribution of precipitation by three-month period over northern Utah during previous La Niña events.
Source: CPC
So R.I.P. La Niña, as well as crazy ideas that it matters for seasonal prediction in the Wasatch Mountains.


  1. Regardless of any predictable effect on Utah weather patterns due to La Nina, I think that after this winter most Utahns will welcome change.

  2. The demise of La Nina is no guarantee of change. The odds of a below average, average, or above average snow year next year remain the same. That being said, the odds that things are as bad as this year are probably lower than 1/10.