Lake Chelan, Washington.

La Nina is Not Going Away. What Does This Mean for This Summer’s Weather?

From the Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Cliff Mass

 It is now clear that La Nina is not going away, and may hang around into next winter.   

Cold water is entrenched over the central and eastern tropical Pacific (the definition of La Nina) and the latest forecast model runs suggest a continuation into fall.

Several of you have asked:   what does this imply for our summer weather?

Let me tell you.   

But first, the bottom line:   the summer effects of La Nina are modest, but will push the western side of our region towards cooler than normal conditions.

The Impacts

During La Nina years, sea surface temperatures off the West coast are usually cooler than normal, and those cooling effects spread inland. 

 To illustrate, here is the sea surface temperate difference from normal for the summer months (May through September) for La Nina years.    Blue colors are cooler than normal.

And if we average surface air temperatures for La Nina summers and subtract those temperatures from normal, we find that cooler than normal summer temperatures (e.g., green colors in the figure below) occur from California to Washington during La Nina summers (temperatures anomalies in degree C are shown below).

In contrast, West Coast precipitation is hardly changed…perhaps slightly drier on the western sides of the Cascades.  I suspect this is because the colder water works against thunderstorms.  Interestingly, La Nina seems to have more summer impact over the Midwest U.S.

Summer versus Winter
La Nina (and El Nino) have far more impact on West Coast weather during winter and early spring than summer.    The atmosphere is far more active during the cool season, with stronger, more active flow in the midlatitudes and more interaction between the tropics and midlatitudes.
A Record-Breaking Spring
As I will detail in a future blog, we are on track to “enjoy” the coolest spring in a half-century.  Right now, the average April/May high temperature at SeaTac is the second-lowest in the past 50 years (see below).  And there are a lot of cold temperatures ahead.

And at Yakima, this spring IS the coldest by far.

La Nina gets part of the blame…but not all.
And I hate to tell you this…. record-breaking cold will be returning later this week.  So don’t put your sweaters away yet.

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Tom Halla
May 16, 2022 10:04 am

The weather map is fairly close, it is rather hot in Texas.

May 16, 2022 10:12 am

If, in fact, La Nina’s are the mechanism which recharges the tropical oceans with heat from the sun, then eventually we are going to get a whopper of an El Nino as this heat must be released to the atmosphere eventually.

So, it would seem to me that now is the time to build additional catchment basins for the coming deluge instead of wringing our hands over punishing drought. But that would require foresight from politicians who are more than happy to join in the hand wringing instead.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Doonman
May 16, 2022 1:01 pm

I’ll take that bet. Our brief and inconsequential flirtation with warming is over. It passed with the last solar max. and won’t be seen in these parts again for a long time. Arctic ice extent is increasing Glaciers will slowly return to at least the sizes seen in the first half of the 20th century. Smaller than the Little ice Age but larger than the present. We will start losing crops to frost again, like we did in the 60’s. Food will become less plentiful, more costly and in a few unlucky places, people will go hungry. But if you’re worried about how our elites will fare, be assured, they will find ways to screw us over with new lies, and they will be fine. Just fine.

Reply to  john harmsworth
May 16, 2022 2:45 pm

“Our brief and inconsequential flirtation with warming is over.”.Physically, that may be true. Politically, I wish.

“our elites will [] find ways to screw us over with new lies”. Only if they need new lies. A la Goebbels, if you tell a big lie often enough, you can control everything, and it feels now that the big climate lie has been told often enough that it has passed into general culture – in other words it can continue to be used for control even if there is no evidence to support it. Will the mainstream media ever change tack? If not, then no new lie is needed.

It feels like we are in a heap of excrement and the heap is being piled up faster than we can dig ourselves out. Much like life in Stalin’s Russia, Mao Tse Tung’s China, etc, perhaps, but with less direct murders. Is there any real difference between a despot’s youth rally and a climate youth rally?

Old Man Winter
Reply to  john harmsworth
May 16, 2022 2:50 pm

John- I had asked what drives seemingly random El Ninos, La Ninas, ENSO, etc., & Javier
responded that he actually had predicted the 2020-21 La Nina & the 2018-19 El Nino. Since
you both talk about the effects of the sun, I thought you might be interested in his thoughts.
I found an article about ENSO that he wrote & he has quite a few other ones @ WUWT, too,
including at least one on Arctic Sea Ice. Quite interesting.

Reply to  Old Man Winter
May 17, 2022 6:04 am

Old Man – an Interesting paper that I had missed. Thank you.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
May 18, 2022 11:47 am

We called this debacle in 2002 and more precisely in 2013: Earth is cooling since Feb2016 or Feb2020 – told you so!
It’s time for Nuremberg 2.0 trials on Climate AND Covid-19. Global–scale frauds; Crimes against humanity; Imminent food shortages.
Total deaths from the Climate and Covid scams could rival the great leftist killers of the 20th Century – ~200 million slaughtered by Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and all the Tin Pots of Latin America, Africa and Asia – and once again, we can blame the Left. Why is it that everything the Left touches turns to disaster? Maybe because that’s their Plan.
Our predictions were ridiculed, but we were correct 20 years ago – wish we were wrong. [Insert very strong expletive here]
Regards, Allan

October 20, 2021. Update May 12, 2022
“The ability to correctly predict is the best objective measure of scientific and technical competence.”
Our scientific predictions on both Climate and Covid are infinitely more accurate than the mainstream narratives, which have been false and baselessly alarmist to date.
May 18, 2022 Cap Allon
This is their plan in action, and it’s coming to the West very soon. Don’t take the mark.

Reply to  Old Man Winter
May 17, 2022 12:12 pm

Note to warmist fraudsters:
How’s that Catastrophic Human-made Global Warming working for you?

May 17, 2022 Cap Allon
Heed the warnings handed down by the elites: prepare for spiraling food prices, and shortages.

Reply to  john harmsworth
May 16, 2022 4:01 pm

My tomato plants are about a third of the size this time last year and will be under low temperature stress later this week. I’m setting up walls of water which should help them survive, but sometimes the cold stunts plants.

Cool Tolerance
Reply to  john harmsworth
May 17, 2022 9:54 pm

Seven years now, in my area, people no longer use their pools. The water doesn’t get warm because of very cool nights. Last year, we had only one so-called heatwave that lasted a few days where temps reached 90F – I don’t call that a true heatwave. I miss those days when summer felt like summer.

Reply to  john harmsworth
May 19, 2022 2:25 pm

Maybe we could stop the ethanol nonsense – ethanol provides less energy than it takes to produce it, and we’re using almost 9% of US farmland to pick the taxpayers’ pocket for that green BS.

Reply to  Doonman
May 16, 2022 2:23 pm

A strong El Nino seems to cause an uptick in the global temperature. So what would cause a down tick? You’d think it would be a strong La Nina.

Reply to  Doonman
May 16, 2022 3:18 pm

The thing is that the recharge process during a period of quiet sun is less effective than during that of an active sun so we can’t count on particularly intense El Ninos as a response to the current run of La Ninas.
I suspect that we will soon see a downward step in global temperatures as compared to the upward steps that occurred during the late 20th century warming period.
Regular readers will recall that one test of my hypothesis for solar induced climate change would be a switch in the ENSO balance towards dominant La Ninas and a drop of global temperatures to below the mean of the past 30 years.
We shall soon see.

Reply to  Doonman
May 17, 2022 1:49 pm

The La Nina via solar minimum sunshine hasn’t recharged the tropical ocean for several years now, nor will it because La Nina is a condition, not a force, a condition brought on by the time spent under the ocean warming threshold I established in 2014. The La Nina will end from increasing solar activity climbing to the solar maximum, as it typically does for La Nina that occur during the solar minimum.

The long time under low solar minimum activity that led to the La Nina caused widespread cloudlessness, leading to higher ground insolation, higher land temperatures, and drying and drought. The worst is over for many places as now more tropical evaporation has recently led to more clouds and rain thanks to the increase in SC25 solar activity since late last year..

We are now in the ending phase of the solar cooling period I predicted in my 2018 AGU poster, and when TSI rises above the ocean warming threshold again, the solar warming period will start leading the tropics out of La Nina into El Nino(s) as it did in 2011-2012.

comment image

Reply to  Bob Weber
May 17, 2022 5:48 pm

Solar max seems to involve less clouds, not more.
Solar min involves wavier jet stream tracks with longer lines of air mass mixing and thus more clouds.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
May 18, 2022 8:28 am

Stephen, I just listened to another guy named Steven here in Wisconsin at the 2022 Sun-Climate Symposium where I have my latest poster presentation this afternoon show the very high correlation of high cloud fraction as a function of Nino3.4 since 2000 using MODIS cloud data.

Therefore there are more clouds from the solar max Nino(s) as my plot shows.

Your explanations are deficient when you don’t use data or relationships between data. I wish you would get in the habit of supporting your opinions with either data or at least a reference to back up your points.

I wonder how a RMS member can go at least a whole decade without posting his own graphics or others’ published charts or graphs, relying on just commentary. You need to up your game bro.

Bryan A
May 16, 2022 10:38 am

La Nina brings Cooler weather in the west but unfortunately also drier

Reply to  Bryan A
May 16, 2022 11:53 am

Nope. Apparently you missed the precipitation anomaly chart.

Bryan A
Reply to  meab
May 16, 2022 12:07 pm

Historically speaking…
comment image

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Bryan A
May 16, 2022 12:32 pm

Bryan A;

Are those charts for the whole year, winter, or summer?

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
May 17, 2022 11:45 pm

This is the typical summer circulation that is already beginning.comment image

john harmsworth
Reply to  Bryan A
May 16, 2022 1:02 pm

Very cool, and damp in Western Canada so far since Christmas. Flooding in some areas. Farmers unable to get into the fields and too cold for germination anyway. About 2-3 weeks behind normal.

Gary Pate
Reply to  Bryan A
May 16, 2022 6:58 pm

It’s been a cold wet spring in western Washington.

May 16, 2022 10:51 am

Somehow I don’t think this cooling with have any impact on the crazy governors on the west coast and their entrenched, science debate-has-ended policy bias. Better call it a severe heat wave pause or they will label it disinformation.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
May 16, 2022 12:39 pm
  • It does in one significant way, this summer Sacramento will suffer record amounts of hot air as La Nina is coinciding with a midterm election. This rare event is expected to break all previous records as energy shortages will enhance this effect resulting in superheated gibberish and pomposity with extreme gusts of pretentiousness.
May 16, 2022 10:58 am

But but the models said it was going away several times now.

Pillage Idiot
May 16, 2022 11:00 am

I occasionally check the Columbia Climate School site for their ENSO forecast.

It previously had the La Nina dissipating late this summer and neutral conditions being the most likely forecast for this fall and winter.

Their most recent update (5/12/22) has La Nina forecast as the most likely conditions as far out as they publish their model (Dec-Jan-Feb).

Does anybody know what are the main factors that shifted such that the model forecasts have been so significantly revised?

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
May 16, 2022 2:57 pm

From the Australian ENSO page by the Bureau of Meteorology “Most climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate a return to neutral ENSO by the early southern hemisphere winter. Only one of seven models continues La Niña conditions through the southern winter.”.

So, there are seven models and six agree. But they all apparently agree that “Climate change continues to influence Australian and global climate.” (last para).

What a crock. How dare they bring “climate change” into the page with certainty when they can’t even agree on ENSO, the topic of the page itself.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 16, 2022 4:17 pm

The BoM is a propaganda machine aimed at seeking more funds to support the bloated bureaucracy. Science left their organisation two decades ago.

The BoM costs more than AUD1M per day and most of that comes from tax payers.

It is another propaganda service for socialists just like their ABC.

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
May 16, 2022 9:41 pm

Does anybody know what are the main factors that shifted such that the model forecasts have been so significantly revised?”

Strong trade winds and large areas of cold upwelling water.

Pillage Idiot
May 16, 2022 11:09 am

SoCal typically does not get a large percentage of their annual precipitation during the summer monsoon. However, Arizona and New Mexico do get a big chunk of their rain in June and July.

Anybody know the impacts of La Nina on the summer monsoon in the SW Region of the U.S.?

(I thought I had read a paper where the research suggested it was fairly bi-modal, i.e. the data showed both wetter than normal and drier than normal monsoon precipitation.)

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
May 16, 2022 1:35 pm

Arizona is more of a July and August big chunk rain time . June pretty dry and hot over most of the state FYI

Romeo Rachi
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
May 19, 2022 2:50 pm

La Nina produces poor monsoons for Arizona. The trade winds don’t quite come far enough west. So, New Mexico will still get most of the moisture but not Arizona. Last year, 2020, was a little better but only because it was near Enso neutral around July but by September it went La Nina again. Towards the end of August and early September, our monsoon all but vanished. The year before, 2019, was one of the worst we had in decades and it was all La Nina.
I keep hoping for more neutral or even positive El Nino vibes only because we need to monsoons to hit this year. It would also be nice to finally have a wetter than average winter which is much more common during El Nino years. However, from what I am seeing, it doesn’t look good.

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 11:14 am

It is not true. that the effects of La Niña in summer are more modest than in winter. The opposite is true, i.e., in winter the circulation at mid-latitudes is dominated by the polar vortex pattern in the lower stratosphere. In May, the stratospheric polar vortex separates from the troposphere and La Niña takes over the circulation over North America. Soon a zonal circulation begins to prevail in the northern hemisphere. We can already see more activity in the North Atlantic and strong thunderstorms are beginning in Western Europe.

Joe E
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
May 18, 2022 6:11 pm

The lack of wind shear during the Nina typically results in hurricane impacts to the east coast as well.

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 11:24 am

In May, a decrease in temperature is evident in the subsurface equatorial western Pacific. La Niña will continue. image

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 3:21 pm

Ireneusz: since the last el Niño, a lot of cold water comes into the ENSO zone from the eastern temperate zone in both hemispheres. In the classic la Niña most of the cold water comes from upwelling in the eastern Pacific equatorial zone. This change in the system may foretell a long period of earth cooling and continuing la Niña conditions.

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 11:36 am

La Nina is not strong. Niño index 3.4 remains at -1 C. La Niña expects a strong increase in solar activity. Then a strong Antarctic jet stream will increase the strength of easterly winds in the equatorial Pacific.comment image

Bryan A
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 12:08 pm

The Force is strong in this little girl

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 11:40 am

Although La Niña is not strong, the high SOI indicates a very typical on equatorial Pacific circulation.

May 16, 2022 12:03 pm

La Nina usually causes severe drought in Texas. Bad for cotton and cattle prices.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  JamesD
May 16, 2022 10:48 pm

La Niña also favors hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Old Man Winter
May 16, 2022 12:05 pm

DTN does a weekly article on two farmers they follow from early spring to late fall, getting into the
challenges they face in their operations. This year, they have a specialty grain farmer from E
Colorado, where it’s been dry (from W Nebraska to W Texas) & a mixed grain/beef operation in C
Ohio, where it’s been wet. Each of the farmers is younger than average & use a lot of technology in
their operations. Further details on them & their operations are near the bottom of the page.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Old Man Winter
May 16, 2022 2:17 pm

DTN, previously known as Telvent DTN, Data Transmission Network and Dataline, is a private company based in Burnsville, Minnesota that specializes in subscription-based services for the analysis and delivery of real-time weather, agricultural, energy, and commodity market information. Wikipedia

Bruce Cobb
May 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Our fossil carbon is making La Ninas La Ninaer. Because science.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 16, 2022 1:11 pm

Neener, neener!

May 16, 2022 12:06 pm

OT: a glimmer of hope
Most of engineers tend to be climate realists, not to say sceptics, although many are.
French President Macron just appointed Elizabeth Borne (civil engineering graduate from École nationale for bridges and roads).
It would be too much to hope for change in French climate policy, but having a voice of reason at very top of the government at least maybe a positive development.

Reply to  Vuk
May 16, 2022 12:49 pm

On the other hand, my French friend tells me, her record as the minister of transport is not encouraging, although she declined to give Air France state aid in exchange for the reduction in CO2 emissions, and was ardent promoter of electrical bikes, promising state aid for the purchasers.

Reply to  Vuk
May 18, 2022 12:25 am

I wish the skeptical engineers would be more vocal about it!

A lot of engineers involved with nuclear energy, utilities, battery development, basically any field that could profit off the climate emergency madness syndrome, talk as though they are “true believers” in the doomsday cult.

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 12:09 pm

La Niña also affects the circulation at high latitudes, which is evident in the extent of sea ice in the north.comment image

May 16, 2022 12:20 pm

Last Springs hot temperatures were global warming, climate change. This spring is simply “weather”

May 16, 2022 12:24 pm

What does it mean this summer?

probably more arsonists, climate doom evangelism, and now climate doom insurance agents….

First Street Foundation scores wildfire risk for every home in America (

Gary Pearse
May 16, 2022 12:40 pm

Cliff, always a joy to read your top quality, knowledge-based, understandable meteorological analyses.

Regarding the persistent la Niña, I’ve commented about an apparent structural change in the cooling of the ENSO region since the 2015-2016 el Niño. Instead of the usual simple upwelling of cold water in the eastern equatorial region, water from extensive cold areas of the eastern temperate zones in both hemispheres slanted toward the ENSO region in the central Pacific.

This “outside” cold water reinforces the eastern upwelling, strengthening the la Niña, but it also dampens and even neutralizes an el Niño, something I noticed in the long neutral development prior to the the el Niño. I even stated that there wasn’t enough hot water in the system to sustain it after it developed and, indeed, it dropped precipitously after it peaked.

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 12:56 pm

Meanwhile, a below-average stratospheric temperature drop is evident at the South Pole, foreshadowing a strong polar vortex, a large ozone hole and rapid sea ice growth.comment image

Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
May 18, 2022 8:55 am

The stratosphere temperature is below average;
the temperature drop is above average.
Just saying … 🙂

Tony Taylor
May 16, 2022 4:45 pm

I live in a moderately dry part of Victoria in Australia, which can get wickedly hot in February with several days on average in the mid 40s. But the last two years have seen absolutely brilliant, with lots of rain and not one day over 39, and only a half a dozen days total over 35. I would be ecstatic if next summer were the same.

Robert W Turner
May 16, 2022 5:45 pm

We’re likely to see some negative anomaly global satellite temperatures soon. The narrative will switch to climate change drought and climate weirding.

May 16, 2022 5:46 pm

Thanks Cliff.
I seem to remember Joe Bastardi commenting that there was an extensive multi-year La Niña cooling of the Pacific in the early ‘50s; and that this presaged several decades of climate cooling.

Gary Pate
May 16, 2022 6:56 pm

If you live in the PNW Cliff’s short weekly podcast is great in explaining the unique weather in this area.

May 16, 2022 8:47 pm

Although we’re currently in a moderate double La Niña cycle, it now looks it will become the 2nd longest La Nina cycle in 72 years.

Hopefully, next year’s El Niño cycle will be a short and mild one followed by a strong La Niña cycle which we haven’t had since 2010, which makes it long overdue.

If the next La Niña is strong, it will likely coincide with both the PDO, NAO, and AMO all reentering their respective 30-year cool cycles which should be enough to officially disconfirm this absurd CAGW scam.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  SAMURAI
May 16, 2022 10:41 pm

After the peak of solar activity in this solar cycle (?), an El Niño is more likely as the jet stream will become more meridional and wind strength along the equator will decrease.
The current solar wind speed is very wavy and has been low since early May.comment image

May 16, 2022 9:47 pm

Summer is over. We are in late autumn now. Not that there was much of a summer. It was very cool and rainy. Still is rainy. Our lawn is dense and green.

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 16, 2022 10:53 pm

The Atlantic is slowly becoming more active. There will be more rain in Europe.

Ireneusz Palmowski
May 19, 2022 10:59 pm
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