Weather Service reveals La Nina will linger through 18.6 inches on 2 January. Indiana and Maine set all- June, if not longer. time temperature records in their states with readings La Nina, the climatic opposite of El Nino, is defined of-36 ° and -55° , respectively. as cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the Thirty-one tornadoes touched down in parts of Ten- tropical Pacific Ocean that impact global weather pat- nessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, on 17 January, fol- terns. Conditions for this cold episode strengthened lowed by another outbreak of 55 tornadoes across the throughout the tropical Pacific in December, as sea south on 21-22 January. surface temperatures continued to drop. La Nina pushes unusually warm air farther to the "The conditions we're seeing that are generating north and unusually cold air farther to the south, mak- weather extremes this winter are largely consistent ing conditions ripe for severe, warm-weather events— with La Nina," said Ed O'Lenic, a forecaster at the such as tornadoes—to happen in the winter, O'Lenic NWS's Climate Prediction Center. "Everyone should explained. be prepared because extreme weather may reoccur this Joseph Schaefer, director of the Storm Prediction cold season," he added. Center, said that while climatic events such as El Nino Scientists at NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, the and La Nina "set the stage" in determining large-scale national center for severe weather forecasting, report precipitation patterns, the conditions that cause tor- a preliminary count of 101 tornadoes since the new nado development act on a much smaller scale. "Be year, breaking the national record for the most torna- prepared. Remember that tornadoes can occur in win- does ever recorded during the month of January. The ter," he cautioned. previous high total was 52 in January 1975. With the threat of severe weather always possible, The NWS is reporting extreme conditions this win- the NWS urges families, communities, and businesses ter in many parts of the country. In January alone, Buf- to have a severe weather action plan, including ways falo, New York, received 63.5 inches of snow; South to seek safety immediately when at home, work, Bend, Indiana, measured 36.7 inches; and Chicago school, or outdoors. broke a single day snowfall record for the city with Scientist s Find El Nino-Like Climate Fluctuations Became More Common 5000 Years Ago For the first time, a team of government and uni- versity scientists has found a high-resolution, 15,000- year record of rain-induced erosion in sediment layers of an Ecuadorian lake that indicates El Nino-like cli- mate fluctuations became more common about 5000 years ago. ^feMriwn St. ^uxmt Writing in the current issue of Science, the research- ers found that a core sample of layers of sediment de- 1909-1998 posited during severe storms in Lake Pallacacocha in southwestern Ecuador closely correlates with El Ninos that are known to have occurred over the past 200 years. jt/iicAael^. ^'ow "The full sediment record indicates that 15,000 years ago severe El Nino-like storms occurred at least 1945-1998 about every 15 years and that they have since occurred with progressively increasing frequency. Over the past 5000 years, storms from El Nino-like climate fluctua- tions have occurred about every two to eight-and-one- ^awieb CW. WwtcAebfei half years, possibly due to enhanced trade winds," said the study's lead author, Donald T. Rodbell of Union 1916-1998 College, Schenectady, New York. The authors point out that there are proxy records of prehistoric El Ninos in a variety of natural archives, 492 Vol. 80,, No. 3, March J 999
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 1, 1999
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