Your 2021-2022 Winter Forecast
The Predictions Are In...
Get ready for Winter 2020 Part Deux. According to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, modeling suggests a La Niña pattern may emerge in the fall and persist through the winter. If that sounds like déjà vu, that’s because we had a La Niña winter last year as well.
La Niña, El Niño’s opposite, brings above average seawater temps in the central Pacific Ocean.
During La Niña winters we expect to see the coldest weather in the northern Rockies, Plains and Upper Midwest, while the southern and eastern U.S. enjoy milder weather. Is it a sure thing that we’ll have another La Niña winter? Models aren’t definitive but it’s safe to say most areas shouldn’t hold tight to a hard-and-fast rule for their winter weather outlook. For example, you might recall last year’s Winter Storm Uri; similarly we could see some cold shots break through this year, even as far south as the Gulf Coast and Southeast.
There are indications the Northeast, Ohio Valley and northern portion of the mid-Atlantic may also have a mild winter this year, with colder bouts that last a few weeks at a time. We’re keeping an eye on December & January, which is when one such period is anticipated to arrive, bringing with it snow and ice. Meanwhile, there are signs the drought-stricken Pacific Northwest may have an active winter, bringing much needed rain and snow. Unfortunately, the Southwest won’t experience the same relief, as La Niña tends to bring less precipitation to this area.
In short—expect a mixed bag this winter, especially if you’re in an area that’s predicted to have a mild winter. It’s important to still line up your snow and ice services early, because as previous years have shown us, Mother Nature likes to throw a curve ball.