What to expect in the Mid-South from a shift in the global weather pattern

MID-SOUTH — A shift in a global weather pattern is forecast to take place as we head into the fall and winter months. This could set the stage for the Mid-South to see a wet fall but then a warmer and drier winter season.

La Nina Watch

If you’ve been in the Mid-South any length of time you know the difference between a severe weather watch versus a warning. A watch means conditions are favorable for an event to happen while a warning means it is currently happing. In early July, forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued a “La Nina Watch”. This is a global weather pattern largely dedicated by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. When those temperatures are warmer-than-average, we’ll have what is known as El Nino. Currently, conditions are in a neutral phase and expected to continue that way until September when La Nina then becomes present lasting through the 2021-2022 winter.

What does this mean for the Mid-South?

Two things for us to watch – a rise in hurricane activity in the Atlantic and a warmer and drier-than-average winter. Of course, the Mid-South is far removed from the brunt effects of landfalling tropical systems, but we can still see our share of rain and severe weather. Last year’s record-breaking hurricane season brought multiple tropical storms through the Mid-South dumping rounds of rain and spawning multiple tornadoes. As we shift into the typically more active months of hurricane season, it’s important to stay tuned into the forecast on-air and online with the FOX13 Severe Weather Team.

La Nina’s effects become even more prevalent as we enter the winter months. Typically, the southeast sees warmer and drier conditions than an average winter when La Nina is present. This could mean a comfortable winter with limited snow chances. Of course, there are other factors that will decide our ultimate forecast, but this is a good starting point as we look ahead to the rest of the year.

As always, you can find the Mid-South’s latest forecast on the FOX13 Weather App.