SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Depending on the year, La Niña or El Niño can affect the winter weather pattern that we experience here in the Pioneer Valley.
This is the time of year that people are gearing up for the winter months. They want to know, “Is it going to be cold?”, “Are we going to get a lot of snow?”, “What can we expect?”
La Niña and El Niño don’t have a huge influence in the weather here in southern New England but that doesn’t mean they have no influence. La Niña and El Niño describe the ocean’s temperatures over the Pacific near the equator. These sea surface temperatures actually affect the jet stream, which can have an affect on our weather patterns here.
22News spoke with Rob Megnia, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, to get a better understanding of what we could expect this year, “So in the winter-time for kind of the eastern U.S. and the northeast you tend to have a higher frequencies of cold air intrusions and you tend to have a little bit more precipitation. During El Niño, it is essentially the opposite and tend to have warmer conditions and drier conditions.”
The climate predictions centers outlook shows that there is about a 70 percent chance for La Niña to happen this year, which could bring us cool and wet weather. It is important to note that this information put out from the Climate Predication Center is referring to the winter months, primarily January and February.