August 14, 1998 | By: Randy Weckman


La Nina, as the transitional period between El Nino and more normal weather is called, will have a substantial influence Kentucky's weather through next spring, according to an Extension meteorologist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

"La Nina's immediate influence will be frequent, intense rainfall through the fall, with a winter that will be more extreme than usual," said Tom Priddy.

For Kentucky, he said, La Nina will have more influence than El Nino, at least if this La Nina follows the historical pattern.

"Kentucky is geographically between the Southeast and the Midwest, which means that its weather could mimic either area during La Nina," Priddy said.

Kentucky could either experience a winter that is cold with heavy snowfall, which is predicted for the Midwest, or one that is warmer and drier than usual as is predicted for the Southeast.

"In any event, the prediction is that Kentucky's winter will be more extreme than usual," he said.

Already, the end of El Nino has influenced Kentucky's weather by causing two record rainfalls in the past six weeks, he said.

"We need to look at El Nino and La Nina as normal occurrences. History

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indicates that these unusual weather patterns are actually quite normal. They were apparent in both 1958 and 1973," he said.

Both El Nino and La Nina are weather fluctuations caused by changes in the ocean.

"Already, the subsurface temperatures along the east central equator are 8 degrees Centigrade below the average, which signals the transition from El Nina to La Nino," Priddy said.

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Writer: Randy Weckman Source: Tom Priddy

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