Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

NOAA issues La Niña watch

This morning NOAA issued a La Niña watch for the equatorial Pacific Ocean, based in part on strong winds towards the west which are increasing a pool of colder than normal water along the equator.  This is a change from last month’s forecast, which indicated neutral conditions would be likely over the winter.

The forecast means that if the La Niña does materialize, winter is likely to be warmer and drier than normal in most of the Southeast.  It is especially likely in Florida and south Georgia and Alabama, where the signal is strongest. The impact of the current La Niña-leaning conditions is an increased enhancement of the tropical Atlantic hurricane season through November. It does mean a late frost next spring is a little less likely than we previously thought, which is good for fruit farmers across the Southeast, although we can never rule it out.

You can read more at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.shtml or the latest NOAA ENSO blog at https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/september-enso-update-la-ni%C3%B1a-watch.