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HomeNewsIsland & CoastWarm-to-cool weather shift coming soon, but another hot year still expected

Warm-to-cool weather shift coming soon, but another hot year still expected

The El Niño weather system is about to switch to La Niña, possibly bringing cooler temperatures.

However, climate experts predict it’s still on track to be one of the warmest years on record, in terms of average global ocean temperature.

New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the switch is likely coming as early as June.

There’s some good news for this year’s salmon returns, at least. Data from NOAA shows large masses of cold water from the deep are rising to the surface in the eastern Pacific and will help cool ocean temperatures by fall.

However, even with La Nina’s cooling effect, ocean temperatures are predicted to remain warmer than average.

“La Niña’s cooler tropical Pacific usually contributes to relatively cooler years,” says the latest update from NOAA. “However, emphasis is on the relative since more recent La Niña events have been among the top ten warmest years ever. One can see that much of the global oceans are warmer than average, going beyond El Niño.”

According to NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information, “the February global surface temperature was 2.52 °F (1.40 °C) above the 20th-century average of 53.8 °F (12.1 °C), making it the warmest February on record [dating back to 1850] and the ninth consecutive month of record-high global temperatures.”

La Niña and El Niño are opposite phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate pattern. El Niño systems typically bring warmer weather, while La Niña system bring cooler weather.


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