Nov. 30, 2016
by James Garris and Evelyn Browning Garriss
Working with climate is an amazing business. This November, it has been hard to find people who flip-fop more than politicians – but the climate scientists have! In early 2016, they predicted La Niña, but by late summer they stopped, Then, in November they declared La Niña conditions had arrived. Now they say there won’t be an official La Niña.
Does your head hurt yet?
So here is what is really happening. Let’s look at reality and explain why it makes a difference for your cattle and crops.
When the Tropical Pacific cools from the coast of South America to past the International Date Line, it cools the air above it. This changes air pressure, wind patterns and global weather. We saw this begin in August and had the type of busy hurricane season typical of La Niña weather through late summer and fall. Despite the weather, the Tropical Pacific was not technically in La Niña conditions until a part of the Pacific labeled Niño 3.4 stayed -0.5°C below average for three months. By the beginning of November, three months had passed. Bingo – scientists officially declared La Niña conditions.
By the time scientists made the official declaration, we had endured 3 months of La Niña-type weather. And – whoops – the cooling had peaked and now the Tropical Pacific is too warm to officially be a La Niña.
It was fun while it lasted.
Seven days after announcing La Niña conditions exist, the majority of international climate agencies announced that the conditions would go away by the end of winter. Considering the conditions are already gone, they are probably right.
That’s the good news for your cattle and crops. La Niña typically bring dry winters to the southern tier of states and California as well as dry planting seasons in the Midwest. Instead it looks like there is a good chance of a normal late winter and springtime.
Does anyone remember what a “normal” spring is like? – JG\EBG
James Garriss and Evelyn Browning Garriss are part of Browning Media, which publishes the Browning World Climate Bulletin™ that has provided accurate regional climate information and forecasts for more than 40 years. The information in the Bulletin provides useful information for ranchers and others to help them plan months in advance for changing conditions. TSCRA members are entitled to a 20 percent discount off the normal subscription price. Please visit http://browningclimate.com/customer-panel/new-subscription and choose your type of subscription. At checkout put in the Coupon Code TSCRA1116 and you will receive a 20 percent discount.