After one of the strongest El Nino's on record, our winter was predictably, milder than normal. Well, now the opposite ocean pattern is setting up. Current predictions suggest a moderate to strong La Nina setting up across the Pacific ocean by fall and winter. El Nino is warmer than normal water near the Pacific Ocean equator. La Nina is COOLER than normal water temperatures there.
So, does that mean a cooler than normal Summer for Northern Ohio? Not at all!
Here are the many computer model guidance predictions for seas surface temperatures in the central Equatorial Pacific Ocean (Nino 3.4 Region) for the coming year. The plot below shows that most models are a showing at least a weak LaNina (plot below the zero line) by Fall and Winter 2016.
The fall from a strong El Nino to La Nina conditions is not unexpected. Here are the top El Ninos since 1950 below. Notice how the three strongest (1972-73, 1982-83, 1997-98) transitioned to La Nina by the following fall.
So what does this mean for Summer temperatures and rainfall.
We can easily take a look at the summer temperatures that follow a strong EL Nino. The El Ninos that transitioned to La Ninas. Those years are 1972-73, 1982-83 and 1997-98. Here are the results:
Blues are cooler than average. Yellows to Red are warmer than average. You can see above, that temperatures across the Ohio Valley following the last three strongest EL Ninos finished a degree or two ABOVE average for the months of June, July & August combined.
The warmest month of the summer looks to be August. BELOW:
You can see, the Plains States look to scorch while all of Ohio sizzles by late summer, if history is any indication.
My hunch: grab the sunscreen. Great pool and beach weather is coming!