I said a short while ago that I'd look at what has happened in the past when a La Niña followed a strong El Niño. Well, I have, and here is the result. These are all the strong El Niño's that were followed by a La Niña in recent decades. There were only three of them. In two cases, the following La Niña was a multi-year event as shown in the figure below. The surface temperature data is from GISS NASA. The Nino 3.4 sea surface temperature data is from NOAA and the ENSO years are from BoM.
For comparison, the chart below shows just the sea surface temperature anomalies just for the Niño 3.4 region for the same four periods.
If you line them up, it looks as if the minimum global surface temperature lags the ENSO 3.4 anomaly by not much at all for La Niña, though the maximum usually lagged El Niño by about 3-4 months, except for the 1972-73 El Niño.
I checked the timing of the minimum and maximum temperatures, which you can see in the table below. The La Nina that followed the 1972-73 El Nino dragged on for a long time and the minimum temperature wasn't till February 1975. It was cold in 1974 as well, but not as cold as the following year. Seemed best to leave the "lag" calculation blank for the 1973-76 La Niña.
From the HotWhopper archives
- Anthony Watts sticks his neck out and predicts La Niña - March 2016, with comparisons of other years.
- Seven in a row: April is the hottest April on record, a 7000 year record? - May 2016