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La Niña imaged from sea temperature data

Weakening of La Niña but Above Normal Hurricane Season is Predicted

Last week, NOAA issued the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, which predicts an above-normal year for activity. Though the La Niña continues to weaken in the Pacific, it will continue to effect weather patterns and influence the number of storms that are predicted. During La Niña years, wind shear is reduced in the Tropical Atlantic, creating conditions that are ideal for tropical cyclone formation. This image shows how the sea surface temperatures have changed, on average, from mid-April to mid-May. A warming signature is clearly visible as indicated by the red areas in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific region, an indication of La Niña’s waning strength. Also related to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, warming trends are visible in the Caribbean and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

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