Weak La Niña to influence our winter and spring weather pattern - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Weak La Niña to influence our winter and spring weather pattern

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NOAA announced today another weak La Niña will influence winter weather patterns and, for Montana, this usually locks the state in a colder and wetter than normal winter season.

This is the second year in a row that a weak La Niña has impacted our winter season weather. 

NOAA scientists said there is a greater than 50% chance that this La Niña could linger through winter into early Spring.

In the central equatorial pacific, ocean sea surface water temperatures are colder than normal due to upwelling of cold water reaching the surface which can influence global weather and climate patterns, similar to an El La Niño but not in the same way.

We are hopeful that the winter season will be good to Montana with abundant snowpack and great skiing. If so, we should be in good shape for early summer water needs for irrigation and recreation. However, this is not a guarantee for a slow fire season next summer to early fall.

Regardless of winter's impacts, our mountain snowpack is melting out earlier than normal with a warming climate change. Despite a wonderful winter with healthy mountain snowpack, our summer fire season could still be very devastating, as we found out in 2017.

Drought concerns will also continue across most of Montana heading into the winter season and next year.

For the full story from NOAA, click here.

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