When I was growing up in northern British Columbia, meteorology was actually one of the “Nature Girl” type interests I held. I paid attention to weather patterns and cloud formations and tried to learn how to predict what the weather was going to do.
I wasn’t terribly good at it, but I did learn a lot.
Recent flooding in northern BC and Alberta, including my hometown of Dawson Creek, and enduring a very long, cool, wet spring in Calgary got me wondering if La Niña was at work. Sure enough, a quick Google search (gotta love modern technology!) showed she was.
The La Niña weather pattern starts when colder than normal water pools along the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Effects are felt in a shifting jet stream and changing high/low pressure areas. She can create cooler than normal winters with lots of snow along the west coast, higher tornado and hurricane counts, and hot, dry temps in the southern United States.
La Niña is probably responsible for all the freakish weather we’ve had this year. Thankfully, she doesn’t usually last more than a couple of years, although there have been longer episodes.
This video explains a little more about La Niña and is worth watching for the quaint hillbilly accent of the narrator alone! :)