La Nina and Winter

What it is and how it might impact our upcoming winter season!

Jennifer from Ashland asks: "What's La Nina?  Is it like El Nino and how might it impact our winter?"

Think of La Nina as the opposite of El Nino.  With El Nino you have warmer than average sea surface temperatures over the equatorial Pacific Ocean, off the coast of South America.  With La Nina you'll find colder than normal water temperatures in that same area.  Both phenomena can have big impacts on global weather.

The top globe shows a very strong El Nino and the lower one shows a strong La Nina.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just released it's official winter 2010-2011 out-look.  


They think it'll be warmer than average across a large part of the nation and wetter across our region.

If you're worried about a drought, don't be.  Keep in mind when those southern rain storms collide with the cold air over our region, the stage will be set for snow.  Will it be as bad as last winter?  Probably not.  But I'd watch for ice/freezing rain at times especially.

Mark your calendars as we'll have our annual Thanksgiving Day weather special where we'll take a more in depth winter out-look and look back at some previous harsh winters.

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Are you hoping for a harsh winter or a mild one?  Post your comments below.


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