Five things to know about La Niña:
- La Niña is part of an important climate phenomena called ENSO, or the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. ENSO includes the climate patterns of El Niño, La Niño and when the atmosphere is in a neutral state.
- La Niña occurs when the waters of the central and equatorial Pacific are cooler than normal. The change in water temperatures impact air flow, strengthening the winds known as the easterlies, or the trade winds.
- A La Niña pattern typically follows an El Nino and usually lasts 9 months.
- Not all La Niña patterns have the same strength, but they usually develop in the spring, reach peak intensity in the fall and then dissipate the next spring or early summer.
- A La Niña can mean a more active hurricane season in the Atlantic and a less active season in the Pacific. For Florida, it means a drier and warmer winter, which can sometimes increase the wildfire threat.