Long-term projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service have already suggested that the Midwest could potentially experience a snowier-than-average winter, but could La Niña increase those odds even further?
La Niña, an ocean and atmospheric phenomenon that causes significant weather changes around the world, could occur again for a third consecutive winter in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the latest NOAA projections, and it could mean big changes. for Illinois residents.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, during a La Niña event, the trade winds in the Pacific Ocean are stronger than usual, pushing more warm water toward Asia. Off the west coast of the United States, a process called “upwelling” is intensifying, bringing cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface.
This cold water then pushes the jet stream northward, bringing stronger droughts to the southern United States and more precipitation to the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
More importantly for residents of the Midwest, the shift in jet stream also allows cold air to flood the region, making winter temperatures colder than normal.
According to the latest forecast published by NOAA, La Niña is expected to continue through the winter months, with a 91% chance that the event will occur until November and a 54% chance that these trade winds will remain accelerated until March. 2023.
If that happens, the Midwest could potentially see a colder, wetter winter, but forecasts remain hazy on that front, as NOAA says there is still “significant uncertainty” for the long-term outlook.
NOAA’s long-range precipitation forecast predicts an above-average amount of precipitation in the Midwest during the meteorological winter, which runs from December through February.
This trend is expected to continue into early spring, officials say.
After above-average temperatures in the fall, NOAA’s long-term forecast indicates average temperatures in the winter.