You may have heard of El Niño but La Nina is what is affecting our forecast this year. It’s the opposite effect of El Niño. Instead we see a periodic cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the East Central Pacific off the coast of South America. This will happen every 3 to 5 years which will push most of the active weather to the north of us. La Niña can mean drier than normal conditions across a good portion of the U-S. The latest Outlook has much of Missouri with below average precipitation. This will likely continue through the fall.
Temperatures will tend to be below average as well headed into this fall. The latest outlook from the National Weather Service keeps the above normal temperatures in place for most Missouri and parts of Kansas, as well as Oklahoma. This does not bode well for our Fall foliage forecast though. The above normal temperatures could keep the leaves from changing color until later in the season. And if the forecast remains dry we will see much of this Fall foliage becoming dormant sooner.
After November the probability of La Niña continues to drop national weather service forecasters caution that it’s a long way out until this forecast is less reliable. If the La Niña pattern does end in the winter months we would see more active weather coming in by December.