La Niña continued during March, according to the U.S. Clime Prediction Center (CPC), which cited continued negative sea surface temperature anomalies. This marked the seventh consecutive season (three-month stretches) of La Niña conditions. The government weather watcher says conditions over the past month were still consistent with a weakening La Niña, though most of its models predict a transition to ENSO-neutral where neither La Niña nor El Niño conditions are present during the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2021.
“The forecaster consensus agrees that a transition is imminent, with a 50-50% chance of La Niña or ENSO-neutral for the March-May average, and then predicts ENSO-neutral to continue at least through the Northern Hemisphere summer,” today’s update says. There is an 80% chance of ENSO-neutral during the May through July period.
In a related blog, Emily Becker with the University of Miami, notes “The fact that La Niña is still around is significant, though, as La Niña can make conditions more conducive for severe weather outbreaks. NOAA defines severe weather as tornadoes, hailstorms, or high winds.”
In part due to uncertainty with predictions made during this time of year, the forecast for the Northern Hemisphere Fall is hazier, with CPC giving 40% to 50% odds of either La Niña or ENSO-neutral, with a small chance for El Niño.