Nina on Roids


Above are the weekly sea surface temperature readings and anomalies for the equatorial Pacific. We are in the midst of a significant La Nina episode that shows no signs of weakening anytime soon. Every indication is that this Nina will continue to intensify or at least hold its own through the winter.

What does that mean for the upcoming winter? It’s hard to forecast just based on ENSO state alone. There are a lot of other variables that go into a long range forecast but here is a composite of all moderate/strong La Nina winters at 500mb.

These Nina events feature a big ridge over the Aleutians with a relatively strong ridge of high pressure over the southeastern US. This tends to pump warm air toward southern New England with a storm track to our west.

It’s unclear if this is what will happen this winter but most indications are we will wind up warmer than normal for December, January, and February but the extent of that warmth remains to be seen. It’s still possible to have above normal snowfall even with above normal temperatures so it’s too soon to say this winter will be a dud.

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