La Niña – Where is Winter?

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By Paige Mathieu

Lately, Pennsylvania has experienced a warm winter unlike last year’s cold one. After last years strange weather due to the El Niño, people could only be hopeful that maybe this strange weather was finally over.  This hopeful thought however, was short lived as the news that a La Niña year had begun.  Although the La Niña year is not nearly as strong as the El Niño year was, the weather is still expected to affect the country and world for most of this year.

The main difference between an El Niño year and a La Niña year is that an El Niño year causes colder than average weather to move across the Pacific Coast. A La Niña year however, moves warmer than average weather across the Pacific Coast. Another difference between an El Niño year and a La Niña year is the length of the change in the weather. A La Niña forecast can last anywhere between nine to a full twelve months. An El Niño year however, will most likely last the full year.

This year the La Niña year is mainly going to effect the drought in California. During the winter, it is said that the drought will most likely become worse because of the dry and warm climate.  As the winter progresses and turns to spring however, the drought is hopefully expected to improve.  The La Niña weather is also affecting the weather in Alaska.  Alaska is  becoming warmer than usual for this time of year, which could become an issue for the averagely cold state.
The La Niña year is affecting our country and world much like El Niño did last year.  Instead of cold weather however, warmer climates are showing up in the forecast.  People should enjoy the weather while it last though, because unlike the cold winter last year, the warm weather of the La Niña year may not last long.

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