La Niña Poised to Fuel Intense Hurricanes and Drought in 2024

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center predicts a 49% chance of La Niña developing between June and August 2024, potentially fueling intense hurricanes along the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, drought in the US Southwest, and exacerbating global temperatures amidst record-breaking heat. The La Niña event, which is expected to arrive by late summer 2024, will have widespread implications for weather patterns across the United States and globally, with significant consequences for communities and economies." This description focuses on the primary topic of La Niña, the main entity being the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center, and the context of the event occurring in the summer of 2024. It highlights the significant actions and consequences of La Niña, including intense hurricanes, drought, and global temperature exacerbation. The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the potential impact on weather patterns and communities.

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Nitish Verma
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La Niña Poised to Fuel Intense Hurricanes and Drought in 2024

La Niña Poised to Fuel Intense Hurricanes and Drought in 2024

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center has increased the chances of La Niña developing this summer, with a 49% chance of it forming between June and August, and a 69% chance between July and September. La Niña, the opposite of El Niño, is expected to arrive by late summer 2024, potentially fueling intense hurricanes along the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, while bringing drought to the US Southwest and exacerbating global temperatures amidst record-breaking heat.

Why this matters: The potential for intense hurricanes and droughts can have devastating effects on communities and economies, highlighting the need for preparedness and adaptation to climate-related events. Furthermore, the exacerbation of global temperatures will likely worsen the impacts of climate change, underscoring the urgency for collective action to mitigate its effects.

La Niña is a naturally occurring weather phenomenon that usually alternates with El Niño every couple of years. It occurs when the temperature of the sea is cooler than average in the eastern Pacific Ocean, resulting in less evaporation, weaker storms, and less moisture in the atmosphere. This can contribute to "the worst possible combination of climate conditions for fueling hurricanes," according to experts, an atmosphere and ocean scientist at the University of Colorado.

The effects of La Niña are expected to be widespread across the United States. The Southwest is likely to experience drier weather and exacerbated drought conditions. Idaho can expect more snow and lower temperatures than average this winter. In contrast, the Pacific Northwest is predicted to have wetter weather. La Niña winters also tend to bring colder temperatures throughout the country's northern half.

One of the most significant concerns is the potential for a more active hurricane season. La Niña weakens the jet stream over the eastern Pacific Ocean, which can lead to more intense hurricanes along the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Researchers at Colorado State University are predicting 23 named storms, 11 of which will be hurricanes, and 5 of those reaching major hurricane strength (Category 3 or stronger). The 2020 hurricane season, which occurred during the last La Niña, saw a record 30 tropical storms and 14 hurricanes.

La Niña events can last between one and three years, unlike El Niño, which usually lasts no more than a year. They tend to peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter and have global implications. In the Southern Hemisphere, Chile and Argentina may experience drought, while Australia and the Amazon could see more rain. La Niña also favors the Indian monsoon, leading to above-average rainfall in South Asia.

As the world grapples with record-breaking heat and the impacts of climate change, the arrival of La Niña in late summer 2024 is expected to exacerbate extreme weather events. While some regions may benefit from increased precipitation, others will face the challenges of drought and intense hurricanes. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center will provide further updates on these evolving climate conditions in their next detailed ENSO Diagnostics Discussion scheduled for June 13, 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • La Niña likely to develop by late summer 2024, increasing hurricane risk.
  • US Southwest to experience drought, while Atlantic and Gulf Coasts face intense hurricanes.
  • La Niña to exacerbate global temperatures, worsen climate change impacts.
  • Effects to vary by region: wetter Pacific Northwest, colder northern US, and more.
  • La Niña events can last 1-3 years, with global implications for weather patterns.