Oct. 17, 2016
It’s the fight of the century (or at least the year)! The winner decides where the USA gets its storms and cold weather ‒ Texas or the Midwest. We all have a ringside seat!
In this corner is the mighty La Niña weather pattern in the Tropical Pacific. She may be named the “Little Girl” but she cools one tenth of the globe. In the other corner is the mighty Positive/warm PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) pattern warming the North Pacific (north of Mexico).
Think of the tropical El Niño/La Niña as the chicken and the PDO as the egg. The warm water from the tropical El Niño flows up along the west coast of the Americas into the North Pacific. This creates the positive/warn PDO. Last year’s very hot El Niño created this year’s positive/warm PDO. Now the tropics have flipped to a cool La Niña condition but there has not been enough time for the colder water to go north and make a negative/cool PDO. It’s warm in the north and cold in the tropics and the weather they are creating are fighting each other.
The warm water in the Positive PDO heats the air above it and creates weather patterns that block some of the winter rainfall in the Midwest as well as California and the Pacific Northwest. Negative PDOs bring cool waters off of the West Coast that create a greater chance of dry weather in the Southwest, Texas and Southeast Coast.
Meanwhile La Niña typically creates its own weather patterns – almost the exact opposite pattern as the one the PDO normally creates, except in poor parched California. Two huge weather Pacific weather patterns – which one will shape our winter?
It will be a duel worth watching and will shape how wet and stormy Texas or the Midwest will be. With the Pacific Ocean off our West Coast we will have a ringside seat. If the La Niña wins, Texas will have a dry, sunny winter and the storms in the Midwest will provide good moisture for next year’s planting season. If the warm Positive PDO wins, Texans will get out their overcoats and umbrellas while the Midwest basks in a warmer, drier winter. Stay tuned. – EBG|JG
Evelyn Browning Garriss and James 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 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 of the normal subscription price. Please visit http://browningclimate.com/customer-panel/new-subscription and choose your type of subscription. At checkout enter the Coupon Code TSCRA1016 for your 20 percent discount.
Oct. 17, 2016