Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




EARTH OBSERVATION
NASA Sees Repeating La Nina Hitting its Peak
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 19, 2012


The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA's Jason-2 satellite shows that the current La Nina is peaking in intensity. Yellows and reds indicate areas where sea surface height is higher than normal (due to warm water), while blues and purples depict areas where sea surface height is lower than normal (due to cool water). Green indicates near-normal conditions. Image credit: NASA/JPL Ocean Surface Topography Team.

La Nina, "the diva of drought," is peaking, increasing the odds that the Pacific Northwest will have more stormy weather this winter and spring, while the southwestern and southern United States will be dry.

Sea surface height data from NASA's Jason-1 and -2 satellites show that the milder repeat of last year's strong La Nina has recently intensified, as seen in the latest Jason-2 image of the Pacific Ocean, available here.

The image is based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Jan. 8, 2012. It depicts places where the Pacific sea surface height is higher than normal (due to warm water) as yellow and red, while places where the sea surface is lower than normal (due to cool water) are shown in blues and purples.

Green indicates near-normal conditions. The height of the sea surface over a given area is an indicator of ocean temperature and other factors that influence climate.

This is the second consecutive year that the Jason altimetric satellites have measured lower-than-normal sea surface heights in the equatorial Pacific and unusually high sea surface heights in the western Pacific.

"Conditions are ripe for a stormy, wet winter in the Pacific Northwest and a dry, relatively rainless winter in Southern California, the Southwest and the southern tier of the United States," says climatologist Bill Patzert of JPL.

"After more than a decade of mostly dry years on the Colorado River watershed and in the American Southwest, and only two normal rain years in the past six years in Southern California, low water supplies are lurking. This La Nina could deepen the drought in the already parched Southwest and could also worsen conditions that have fueled recent deadly wildfires."

NASA will continue to monitor this latest La Nina to see whether it has reached its expected winter peak or continues to strengthen. A repeat of La Nina ocean conditions from one year to the next is not uncommon: repeating La Ninas occurred most recently in 1973-74-75, 1998-99-2000 and in 2007-08-09.

Repeating La Ninas most often follow an El Nino episode and are essentially the opposite of El Nino conditions. During a La Nina episode, trade winds are stronger than normal, and the cold water that normally exists along the coast of South America extends to the central equatorial Pacific.

La Nina episodes change global weather patterns and are associated with less moisture in the air over cooler ocean waters. This results in less rain along the coasts of North and South America and along the equator, and more rain in the far Western Pacific.

The comings and goings of El Nino and La Nina are part of a long-term, evolving state of global climate, for which measurements of sea surface height are a key indicator.

.


Related Links
NASA's ocean surface topography mission
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARTH OBSERVATION
Map project accuses Google users of edits
San Francisco (UPI) Jan 17, 2012
The OpenStreetMap project, an open source mapping group competing with Google Maps, say user accounts in India linked to Google have tampered with its data. Accounts attached to a range of Google Internet addresses in India have been maliciously vandalizing OpenStreetMap data, OSM project members said. The allegation comes after an incident in which users behind a Google IP [Inte ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
Russia talks of permanent moon base

Montana Students Pick Winning Names for Moon Craft

Students rename NASA moon probes Ebb and Flow

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's LAMP reveals lunar surface features

EARTH OBSERVATION
'Flaws' blamed for Russian space failure

Lost in simulated space on the way to Mars

US may be behind Mars probe failure: Russia

Opportunity Targets Amboy Rock For Extra Study Ahead of Winter

EARTH OBSERVATION
US joins effort to draw up space 'code of conduct'

Voyager Instrument Cooling After Heater Turned off

The gadgets which stood out at CES

Smart appliances set to transform the home

EARTH OBSERVATION
Shenzhou 9 Behind the Curtain

China Plans to Launch 30 Satellites in 2012

China launches Ziyuan III satellite

Spying on Tiangong

EARTH OBSERVATION
ISS Team Undertakes 'EPIC' Event

Photographing the International Space Station from Your Own Backyard

New crew arrives at international space station

NASA 'Smart SPHERES' Tested on ISS

EARTH OBSERVATION
SpaceX delays February flight to space stationl

Canaveral has busy 2012 launch schedule

China to launch Bolivian satellite in 2013: Chinese Ambassador

Ariane 5, Soyuz, Vega: Three world-changing launch vehicles

EARTH OBSERVATION
Re-thinking an Alien World

Scientists Discover a Saturn-like Ring System Eclipsing a Sun-like Star

Planets around stars are the rule rather than the exception

Milky Way teaming with 'billions' of planets: study

EARTH OBSERVATION
Apple unveils digital textbooks app for iPad

Neutron scattering provides window into surface interactions

Russian Scientists Mock U.S. Radar Theory on Mars Probe

Russia to Test if US Radar Caused Failed Space Probe




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement