In recent media there has been much coverage given to weather related activity. One of the most talked about phenomena is “La Nina.” La Nina refers to the cooling waters that take shape in the Equatorial Pacific. This cooling pattern alters weather patterns that affect the global system. It seems that weather forecasters canĘt seem to change the subject. How can you blame them when the weather is so unusual. People want answers, and unfortunately they must keep repeating the famous phrase “La Nina.”
The literal term actually means The Little Girl. The name is derived from its counterpart, “El Nino.” It to be an opposite. El Nino got its name from fisherman of the coast of South America when they first noticed a distinct warmness in the waters. Since this occurrence usually came during Christmas, they referred to it as El Nino meaning the child or Christ child.
There exists an obvious relationship between both phenomenon. As opposed to cooling waters, El Nino is known for the warming waters it brings to this same Equatorial Pacific. However, the case seems to be that La Nina usually follows an El Nino. A historical overview also shows that El NinoĘs tend to occur more often. However, both seem to be part of a regular pattern. As far as weather impact, it seems that opposite weather trends seem to occur from these weather systems. A strange relationship of complete opposites.
To help illustrate lets note the major features of La Nina. First off, La Nina sets a cooler water system in the Equatorial Pacific. The trade winds are stronger than usual and the cold water tends to lie in the eastern tropical Pacific. This is the common signature of La Nina. This switch from the normal changes the location of major storm systems. Another feature is that waves seem to form on the jet stream.
It is important to note that La Nina is part of phase within the Southern Ocean Oscillation (ENSO). The process depicts the shift from pressure change from one system to the other. Over a period of several months the western PacificĘs warm waters find their way across the Pacific to “depress the Peruvian upwelling and raise surface temperatures.”
La Nina impacts us in a variety of ways. During the La Nina the winter temperature seems to be warmer than normal in the Southeast (U.S. Region) and cooler in the Northwest. There is also a shift in the trade winds. Obvious weather patterns change throughout the world. This will impact our lives in a variety of ways. First, we need to keep in mind the changes and prepare for them. For example, if you are planning for an early expedition into the mountains to research snow, you might want to make your plans a little later in the year since La Nina will be keeping this area of the US warmer than usual. Other impacts include change in crop productivity which could affect prices of your favorite foods.

References
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/toga-tao/la-nina-story.html
http://dao.gsfc.nasa.gov/experiments/assim54A/sample_results/elnino.html
http://grads.iges.org/nino/ninomodl.html
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/docs/mcph1401.html