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La Niña setup becoming likely this winter: What does it mean?

La Niña could set the stage for a wet winter in the northeast.

The latest report from the Climate Prediction Center points to greater likelihood of La Niña this winter.


Since it’s last report in September, the odds of a La Niña pattern between December and February have increased from 65% to 75%.

What does that mean?

Well, this National Weather Service graphic breaks down what’s typically seen during a La Niña winter.

As you can see, the northeast is split by the variable polar jet stream. Think of this as your dividing line between warm and cool weather patterns.

That jet stream moves and bends like a wave with moving weather systems. However, the positioning on the map gives an indication of where the dividing lines work out.

There are some clear outcomes from the map for certain regions.

The southeast is almost always drier than normal, along with the rest of the southern U.S., compared to an El Niño winter. The upper midwest tends to see the coldest conditions, and the Ohio Valley and northeast experience more precipitation.

As with any long-term prediction or season-wide forecast – there will undoubtedly be change, and varying conditions.

The northeast will see plenty of cold, snow, and winter weather. Whether it’s warmer-than-normal, cooler-than-normal, or just a standard winter.



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