More La Niña Winters in the Future?
This year forecasters are predicting La Niña to return for the third consecutive winter. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecasts a 75% chance of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere winter (December through February) 2022-23, with a 54% chance for a neutral El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in February through April 2023. The administration also released their winter outlook for the U.S. on October 20, which is somewhat typical for a La Niña pattern.
La Niña winters tend to bring cooler, snowier conditions to the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, and warmer, drier weather to the U.S. Southwest.
A three-peat La Niña is a bit unusual, having happened only twice previously in records going back to 1950. It’s especially surprising considering that global warming is expected by many to cause more El Niño winters. However new research, led by the University of Washington, offers insight that suggests that climate change, in the short term, might be favoring La Niñas instead.
To learn more, check out the University of Washington News article, “Study Suggests La Niña Winters Could Keep on Coming,” by Hannah Hickey.