The weather system has returned for the second straight year (Picture: Reuters/NOAA)
For the second straight year, La Niña is forecast to bring large amounts of snow to the northeast – including up to 32 inches to New York City. Simultaneously, the weather event is expected to leave California in a dry spell that would worsen its drought.
It is being called a ‘double-dip La Niña’ because of the consecutive occurrence.
The US’s northeast region will likely experience a warmer than usual winter but get hit with more snow than most years.
‘The snowfall forecast for New York City is, on average, 29.8 inches, but our prediction is up to 32 inches,’ Accuweather expert senior meteorologist Bob Larson told the Daily Mail.
In 2020, La Niña brought the coldest temperatures in February, hitting lows that had not been seen in seven years. The average temperature in the contiguous US was 30.6°F – 3.2°F below the average for the previous century.
La Niña’s conditions have an 87% chance of persisting through February, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Parts of the west including southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and portions of Colorado and Utah will likely have prolonged periods without rain, while the northwest may get drenched. The system could arrive as soon as next week,
‘There is already evidence of this pattern and in a week to 10 days, we will see a storm slamming into the West Coast that will stay in northern California,’ Larson said. ‘This could be a preview of what we could see this winter due to La Niña.’
Weather experts believe La Niña will last for several months, with its strongest impacts coming after January.
La Niña is a phenomenon that forms when strong winds around the Equator heading east to west cool down the Pacific Ocean in the tropical region north of Australia.
‘Our scientists have been tracking the potential development of a La Niña since this summer, and it was a factor in the above-normal hurricane season forecast, which we have seen unfold,’ NOAA Climate Prediction Center deputy director Mike Halpert told the Daily Mail.
‘La Niña also influences weather across the country during the winter, and it will influence our upcoming temperature and precipitation outlooks.’
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