What is in this article?:
- As La Niña weakens and El Niño threatens, forecasters admit the weather forecast for summer remains a mystery.
- La Niña has entered “neutral status”, meaning it no longer is considered a significant event that drives weather patterns for North America.
- There is still a chance lasting effects of a strong La Niña, called the La Niña footprint, may be with us at least through spring.
And the Forecast Calls For What?
What's happening now as April approaches is a volatile weather pattern across North America. While La Niña may have entered the “neutral zone” and is losing influence over weather developments in North America, there is still a chance lasting effects of a strong La Niña, called the La Niña footprint, may be with us at least through spring. Then we may or may not see an El Niño, or ENSO, event, and that may or may not bring more normal rainfall to large areas of North America.
“For all we know and in spite of all the computer models—which are exceptional forecast tools—we may not be able to forecast long range weather patterns until we know more about the many contributing factors, the wind and wave patterns that may or may not develop. There are just too many variables,” Goldsmith adds.
Goldsmith says the difficult-to-understand weather pattern currently setting up over North America reminds us how little we know when it comes to being able to ‘predict’ long range weather.
“We’re always learning new things, a trend that will continue on the wings of technological advancements. But just when you think you have it all figured out, something new occurs and you’re back to square one all over again,” he adds.
“When it comes to weather, we expect the worse and hope for the best. When all is said and done, it’s the best we can do at the end of the day.”