I created an animated Sea Surface Temperature map comparing last year from early October 2010 to early January 2011. Notice the streak of blue and purple in the middle of the map. That's the classic La Nina signature. Also, check out the warm pocket in the northwestern Pacific and the cooler water to the east of it. THE WARM POCKET SEEMS WEAK...
This year, the La Nina signature doesn't seem as strong. Perhaps more importantly, THE WARM POCKET IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC IS STRONGER although it is showing signs of fluctuating.
The weaker La Nina and the strength and position of the warm pool in the western Pacific, I believe, have played a large role in the storm paths across the US and over Ohio. Last year, we had prolonged cold. This year, only one day below freezing in December.
La Nina is peaking which means that other factors will come into play in the months ahead. Will we be able to get the Christmas decoration down due to the snow and cold? Will sledding at Virginia Kendall Park in Peninsula we possible? Will we see more of the grass than snow cover? More later this week