Local News

"La Niña" conditions to cause harsh winter

Confidence is growing that we are in for a snowier and colder winter in the Inland Northwest.  NOAA's Center for Climate Prediction released its forecast for December, January and February this morning, and there were no surprises.  It continues to call for an above average change of cooler and wetter weather throughout the northwest.  

Blame, or credit, goes to "La Nina", the cooling of the sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean which impacts weather patterns around the globe.   La Nina conditions were officially declared last week, and a weak La Nina is expected to last through the winter. In Spokane, La Nina traditionally means a jump in our snowfall totals.  An average La Nina winter brings 59" of snow, compared to a typical year average of 43".  This is caused by a blocking ridge of high pressure that builds in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during La Nina winters, which results in a cool, northwest flow over the area and an active storm track running right over the Pacific Northwest.  

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