Officials predict higher chance of wetter, colder La Niña winter

Butler County saw near zero-degree temperatures Wednesday, February 17, 2021, to go along with ice and snow from earlier in the week. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Butler County saw near zero-degree temperatures Wednesday, February 17, 2021, to go along with ice and snow from earlier in the week. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, as of Thursday, is predicting a 70% chance of a La Niña winter.

Generally, La Niña episodes bring our area more precipitation and more cold air, the association said.

La Niña is caused by cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocian, causing a wave-like jet stream with variable strength, generally entering North America in the northwest U.S. and southwest Canada.

This causes gives increased storminess across large parts of central North America and drier conditions across the southern states.

NOAA said that La Niña episodes tend to last one to three years, and 2020 was also a La Niña year.