Changes in ocean currents in the Pacific is know to have a great deal of influence on weather across the United States, including North Carolina. Ocean currents generally oscillate between La Nina (colder water) and El Nino (warmer water). In between we say the ocean water is in a neutral stage. La Nina currently controls the Pacific Ocean and it has certain ramifications for our weather in the Southeast. During the winter the La Nina current generally causes cold weather in December and milder weather during the last half of winter. It seems to have played out well in eastern North Carolina this winter. December was about 11 degrees below normal, January almost 5 degrees below normal while February has averaged about 3 degrees above normal thus far. During the late summer and fall La Nina seasons usually increase the number of tropical storms and hurricanes across the Atlantic Ocean. Let's hope we won't have to worry about those storms in our area this year.
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