MISSOULA — The latest update by the Climate Prediction Center indicates it is likely that we will be under the influence of a La Nina weather pattern as we head into the fall and winter months.
Sea-surface temperatures, wind speed and direction, and thunderstorm development in the equatorial Pacific Ocean region all factor into the decision to issue a La Nina Watch.
The Pacific Jet Stream tends to shift farther north bringing better chances of rain to our region during La Nina, while the southern half of the U.S is often warmer and drier than average.
Should the trend toward a La Nina weather pattern play out, those who like to play in the snow will likely be happy.
“What this means for us is, it’s favoring wetter than average conditions, and colder than average conditions as we go into fall and winter in western Montana," explained Northern Rockies Coordination Center Predictive Services Meteorologist Coleen Haskell.
Currently, the odds of a La Nina fall and winter are set at 60%, with a 36% chance of neutral conditions, and only a 4% chance of an El Nino winter.