This May the Climate Prediction Center issued a final La Niña Advisory. La Niña is the phenomenon corresponding with the cooling of ocean waters over the Tropical Pacific Ocean. It's essentially the opposite of El Niño, in which the same waters become warmer than average.
La Niña conditions have been present over the Pacific ocean since the Fall of 2017, in which the waters cooled below average. We've been seeing a shift to a more neutral pattern over the past few months though, as sea surface temperatures warm closer to their climatological average. Temperatures within .5 degrees of the average are considered neutral.
Neutral conditions are expected to persist at least through the summer. While there are some indications that a weak El Niño could develop late in the year, these forecasts are still too uncertain this far out to depend on.
The La Niña/El Niño pattern - also called ENSO for 'El Niño Southern Oscillation' - is a part of the global pattern that can impact weather across the United States. Neutral conditions can translate to milder winter conditions across the South, but this is a weak connection. We'll be keeping a close eye on conditions, but until then you can stay updated on your daily forecast with us on WHNT.com!