How does this relate to public health?
From 2007 to 2009, the Southeast experienced an unprecedented drought, largely due to the La NiĆ±a weather pattern.1 North Carolina farmers suffered an estimated $500 million loss in major crops because of the severe drought.2 Understanding La NiĆ±a weather patterns can help public health professionals anticipate and prepare for severe weather events so that adverse effects are minimized.1
Figure D: La NiĆ±a is linked with periods of drought, which can compromise the availability and quality of water used for drinking, agriculture, and recreation.
Image from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1Manuel, J. 2008. Drought in the Southeast: Lessons for water management. Environews: Spheres of influence. Apr 116(4):A168-A171.
2The water connection: Water resources, drought and the hydrologic cycle in North Carolina.