A cooling of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America, occurring periodically every 4 to 12 years and affecting Pacific and other weather patterns.
Periodic, significant cooling of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which causes abnormal weather patterns.
A cooling of the surface water of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, occurring somewhat less frequently than El Niño events but causing similar, generally opposite disruptions to global weather patterns. La Niña conditions occur when the Pacific trade winds blow more strongly than usual, pushing the sun-warmed surface water farther west and increasing the upwelling of cold water in the eastern regions. Together with the atmospheric effects of the related southern oscillation , the cooler water brings drought to western South America and heavy rains to eastern Australia and Indonesia.
Nonstandard spelling of La Niña.
Alternative spelling of La Niña.
Origin of la-nina
- American Spanish the girl (to distinguish it from El Niño) Spanish la the (from Latin illa) (feminine of ille al-1 in Indo-European roots) niña daughter (from Old Spanish ninna) (from Vulgar Latin nīnna)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition