Cam's Weather Corner: La Niña and the future of our drought

Cam's Weather Corner: La Niña and the future of our drought

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Winter has now come and gone, and we've ended the entire season without any measurable snowfall.

The dominance of La Niña and the drought are to blame.

This week on Cam's Weather Corner, we will get an update on the drought conditions around the area.

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We've had limited precipitation and only 0.25" of rainfall at the airport for the year.

This has led to a developing drought and a rather active fire season. Much of our area is experiencing extreme drought conditions, with exceptional drought starting to overtake much of the northeast Panhandle.

The drought will continue to worsen on a weekly basis as long as our area continues to see no moisture.

One of the main reasons to why this winter has been so dry is due to the presence of a moderate La Niña.

For those that need a quick refresher, La Niña is a cool water anomaly located off the coast of South America that greatly impacts our wintertime weather patterns.

Seeing as it is no longer winter, it's now time for La Nina to weaken and fade away, but that hasn't been the case this year.

Doppler Dave gave me a rundown of some notable drought trends in our area.

"A couple of more memorable droughts we've had in recent history, coming out of 95-96, a very dry period, but we turned into a very wet summer," said Dave. "That did not happen in 2011, 2012 and even 2013. We had a very dry winter period and it just continued to be dry all the way through the summer season.

When it comes to interaction of the ocean and the atmosphere, much like what takes place during La Niña, there is a time lag delay that is present.

Typically, it takes just over a month and a half for the atmosphere to react to a change in the oceans. That means if La Niña were to go away right now, we would not feel a more normal springtime weather pattern for a month and half.

The next La Niña update comes out on April 14th and by then we will know more regarding the future of our drought.

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