Colder weather is coming: Here’s why

SPOKANE, Wash.– It was supposed to be a cold and snowy season as we entered the second of two La Niña winters in the Inland Northwest. So far though it’s been a tale of two halves.

The past six weeks were warm and dry. The six weeks before that were only a little colder, but were a lot snowier.

Six Week temperature snow comparision

NOAA data shows the six weeks after November 27th were colder and much snowier than the six weeks after January 8th, 2022 in Spokane.

Now the pattern is shifting back towards wintry weather, which will begin to take shape this weekend. We’ll be sideswiped by some arctic air next week and will be a lot colder as a result. High temperatures will drop about 10 degrees next week while low temperatures could drop more than 15 degrees! We’re also watching for some frigid wind chill on the night after President’s Day.

RELATED: Warm and breezy for Thursday, but wintry weather is plotting its return – Kris

RELATED: Analysis: La Niña doesn’t guarantee a super-snowy winter

Here’s what’s going on

For the past six weeks, that typical La Niña weather pattern was shifted further east across North America. That put the Inland Northwest under strong high pressure most of the time instead of right in the path of incoming storms.  That high pressure is now getting pushed back west, which is opening the door for frigid air to slide down across Canada and into our region again.

It’s not just this week either. The National Climate Prediction Center is calling for higher odds of wetter and cooler weather in the Northwest in March. Climate forecast models that predicted this cool down for the last week of February are now showing a possible warm-up in early march followed by two to three weeks of cooler/unsettled conditions again in our corner of the continent. Meanwhile, high pressure is expected to bake Alaska in warmth over the next few weeks. This is a very La Niña-like pattern if it does turn out that way. Only time will tell, but it does appear our sunny warm weather may be done for a little bit.

 

March Precipitation predictions 2022

Source: NOAA

March Temperature predictions 2022

Source: NOAA