We have talked about El Niño and La Niña before. Their intensities, what causes them, and how they effect our globe. What we have not discussed is the strength of the forecasted La Niña.
The current El Niño has been fading beginning in the winter of 2015. As 2016 progresses, it is showing further signs of weakening. Being said, conditions are as follows; El Niño weakens, normal Trade Wind and upwelling conditions ensue, and La Niña characteristics begin to show. Depending on conditions at the time, each sequence varies with time. For example, the current El Niño has been viewed over a long time period, versus some that are only months at a time.
Climate.gov is a website run through NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that publishes information about past, present, and future climate. Published in January, this article asks the question, “Will La Niña follow El Niño? What the past tells us.” It continues to talk about, through recorded SST (Sea Surface Temperature) history, how after every El Niño came a La Niña. Although the strengths were not necessarily a telling of the next climactic episode, there was enough info to show that a La Niña is evident.
So, can we predict the strength of the next La Niña? The answer is no, probably not. But, we can infer that a La Niña is imminent sooner rather than later.