La Nina Continues to Come On
As we transition into a summer pattern across the United States over the next two weeks (finally), we will be keeping a close watch on the tropical Pacific for signs of a developing La Nina.
La Nina is when sea surface temperatures in the subtropical Pacific (most notably west of South America westward along and near the equator) turn colder. This is the opposite of El Nino (when the waters turn warmer).
Like El Nino, La Nina can have big impacts on weather patterns across the U.S. and North America. The cooler waters can alter the path of the jet stream as well as changing precipitation patterns.
The graphic below shows the cooling taking place across the Pacific. Note the line of blue west of South America. This area of blue represents the falling sea surface temperatures near the equator. If this trend continues, we will likely be in a La Nina by late summer and into the fall season.
A developing La Nina may bring several impacts over the coming months from increased hurricane activity to a drier trend across portions of the west, southwest and some areas of the central and southern plains.
Our confidence is growing that a La Nina is forming and beef producers should monitor its development over the coming months.