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Surprise! La Niña isn't dead yet

Puddles fill with additional raindrops around Seattle. (Photo: Anne Langkow)

I have to admit it, I already had written this blog as an epitaph for La Niña. I figured it would be declared dead during NOAA's monthly update on the La Nina/El Nino cycle, which occurs on the second Thursday of each month.

Guess I have to save it for May, because La Niña: Still alive! (Although it is apparently on its last legs...)

Then again, as we wade through a La Niña-esque second week in a row of cool, rainy weather with another week on tap, maybe it's fairly obvious it's still around.

NOAA forecasters say La Niña continued to weaken, but sea surface temperatures still remained below normal in the Central Pacific Ocean and the atmospheric circulations were still consistent with a weak La Niña.

But forecasters also give a better than 50 percent chance that La Niña will eventually be vanquished this month or in May, leaving us in neutral conditions (neither La Niña nor El Niño) for the summer.

Although these kind of forecasts do have less confidence around this time of year due to what's known as the "spring barrier" -- as ocean conditions are usually in a transition period that is difficult for the long range computer forecast models to predict. But just going off the usual script, it'd make sense for La Niña to fade soon and go into neutral conditions.

That would mean the "weighted dice" toward the cool, showery period like we have now should begin to fade as we get later into spring, and sure enough, the 90 day forecasts are switching around to leaning toward warmer and drier conditions in the late spring and early summer

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