BY JOHN FELDT
BLUE WATER OUTLOOK
La Niña Watch Issued
Assuming this La Nina does develop and continue into the winter, this could result in colder-than-normal temperatures and more snow than usual for a majority of the corn belt.
According to NOAA, there is a 55-60% chance of La Niña conditions developing during the upcoming fall and winter months.
Recent Equatorial Pacific Cooling
The current Niño Region 3.4 sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly is -0.6°C. A persistence of this departure would indicate an emerging La Niña.
After warmer-than-normal SST readings this past spring and summer, temperatures have recently cooled within the equatorial Pacific (below).
Outlook for La Niña This Fall and Winter
Climate models indicate Niño Region 3.4 SST will dip below -0.5°C this fall and persist into the winter months.
What This Might Mean
The following images depict temperature, precipitation, and snow anomalies during La Niña winter (Dec-Jan-Feb) periods.
The image on the left indicates the actual anomaly while the image on the right the frequency of occurrence. In other words, the anomaly (left) has a higher probability of occurrence within areas shaded in orange (right).
This points towards the possibility of a colder-than-normal winter over the Upper Midwest and West and warmer-than-normal conditions over the South Central U.S.
It could be an active winter over the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, and parts of the Ohio River Valley. The winter could trend on the dry side over the southern tier of the U.S., Southeast, and Mid Atlantic regions.