Climatologists have been signaling the weakening of the El Niño pattern for a few months, however, the latest long-range forecast is indicating that La Niña may become entrenched enough to become the dominant weather phase just in time for the peak of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.
Here is what you need to know about how the arrival of La Niña may impact weather patterns across the U.S. in the coming months.
La Niña Predicted to Replace El Niño in Coming Months
El Niño has been the primary influencer of the weather across the Northern Hemisphere since last summer. But as this climate phase begins to lose its grip, La Niña is poised to take over.
On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officially issued a La Niña watch, detailing that this phase could replace El Niño prior to the end of the summer.
This timing would almost certainly influence the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season just as it reaches its peak in September.
Climate experts have been predicting a return to La Niña by the end of the summer for a few months. This prediction is continuing to become more certain as more information has become available.
In its regular monthly update this week, NOAA said that there was a 79% chance of a transition from the current El Niño phase to a ENSO-neutral phase between April and June.
NOAA puts the odds at 55% that the neutral phase will further evolve into La Niña between June and August, just as hurricane season is beginning to pick up in intensity.