By Anson Walldorf, Staff Writer
Last winter, North Carolina experienced an El Niño winter, which brought unusually cold and wet weather. It was a strong El Niño that mostly affected the months of January and February. This year we are currently in the middle of a La Niña winter.
La Niña’s bring the opposite of El Niño’s, which is unusually warm and dry winters. La Niña is extremely weak this year which explains why we had an early seven inches of snowfall.
Due to this snowfall we had three snow days. Since then, we have had generally warm temperatures and not much precipitation. We will have two snow make-up days at the end of the school year. We will also have school on February 13, which we were originally supposed to have off.
Some people would say that La Niña is not affecting us this winter. At times it has felt like we have not been affected because it is so weak.
“I feel like this winter is not being affected by La Niña considering we have already had a large snowfall,” said sophomore Anthony Bridges. “It was also below freezing for three days.”
Some of the Reynolds students would rather have a winter with snow and make up days at the end of the year, rather than having a dry winter with no snow and no make up days. “I would much rather have a winter with snow and make up days because I love the snow,” said sophomore Nasir Mcdaniel.
Other students would rather not have snow because it can affect our school schedule, and spring sports schedule. Some students feel like snow can make it difficult to get back to a normal school schedule.
“Snow can cause us not to have lacrosse practice for a few days,” said sophomore Harry Capizzi. “When we come back the field is always soggy and it gets torn up very easily.”
La Niña affects the entire world, not only local and national weather. La Niña flips weather patterns and ocean currents around the world. It brings cooler temperatures off the coast of Peru and the West Coast of the United States.
In East Africa, there is a drought during La Niña and rainfall is shifted down to Australia and East Africa. The drought from La Niña can last up to two years in East Africa.
All La Niñas are different depending on their strength. El Niños and La Niñas are are becoming much more frequent. Scientists are still not sure what the cause for these strange weather events are.
Experts believe climate change is beginning to have an effect on El Niño but not as much of an effect on La Niña.
The reason for this is because El Niño years tend to bring less warmer conditions around the world, so when climate change combines with El Niño it brings very warm temperatures.
Photo from National Ocean Service