La Nina Formed: What it could mean to our winter

laninawinterjetNovember 10 2016 – A much different weather pattern could be shaping up as a result of the waters in the Pacific Ocean. Today NOAA officially declared that a La Nina has formed, which is the opposite of the warmer water in the record El Nino recorded last year. This is a colder patter, and shifts the jet stream farther to the north as seen in the graphic above. Compare that to the classic El Nino pattern at the bottom of this post.

What does that mean for us?  We can not promise what this will bring, especially since this is weak to moderate and other global patterns contribute to what we can see. But below you will find what we may expect… but the intensity will determine if this is good for snow lovers.

Note: I am working on a new FITF store along with my winter outlook. Hopefully they will be ready any day… I will be contacting a few teachers to start setting up FITF spirit wear/assemblies. I will post the information to that soon as well. 

According to today’s report from NOAA:

“La Nina has arrived and is favored to stick around through winter. The climate phenomena will likely contribute to drier and warmer weather in the southern U.S. and wetter, cooler conditions in the Pacific Northwest and across to the northern tier of the nation this winter.”

Looking Closer

The strength and duration of the La Nina is important because that would play a role in the location and identity of the jet stream. The National Weather Service records for Baltimore at BWI may look colder and more wet, but that does not always translate to a lot of snow.  In fact a weak La Nina often leads to below average snowfall. A moderate La Nino would bring a typical winter. Again- there are other facts. This post is just isolating this one element.

Temperatures:

This chart shows a weak La Nina would lead to slightly above average temperatures, but there were more colder seasons (5 of 8). This means that warmer ones are quite warm, but most are near average or slightly colder.

lanina_bwi_temps

Precipitation

This chart does show a slightly drier weather pattern, but many more wet years (6 of 8) when there is a weak La Nino. So the dry years are very dry to slant this chart. When wet, it that does not guarantee that all events will be snow. In fact it is possible to have colder air with warm ups ahead of the storms making them more wet than white. That all depends on the precise pattern and track of those storms.

lanina_bwi_precip

 

Snowfall

Again, if you love snow and have Faith in the Flakes, you would want La Nina to intensify. Because a weak La Nina has produced below average snowfall 7 of 8 times since 1950. A moderate La Nina would be more likely to result in a near average winter.

Again, this is just one of many factors that will contribute to the overall pattern. Now you can see why NOAA’s Winter Outlook has equal chances and no clear direction in their

lanina_bwi_snow

 

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Chip KidWxDevicesGet the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.

 

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