It's official: La Niña has Arrived

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La Niña is here and is forecast to last through this winter.

A La Nina climate pattern has arrived and is likely to persist through the winter, according to an advisory issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center today. Scientists say there is a greater than 50-percent chance La Nina will also be in place February through April 2018.

Our winter weather outlook overall will shift slightly to colder temperatures and slightly above average precipitation chances for Wyoming. La Niña causes a more northern storm track that often brings higher than average snowfall to the northern third of the country and less snow to southern areas. For skiers, a medium to strong La Niña is almost a sure bet that the Pacific Northwest is going to have a great snow year. This is also good news for Montana residents, La Niña will help replenish soil moisture up in Montana too after a rough summer filled with Wildfires.

Last year’s La Niña was unusually brief, forming in November and gone by February. This one should hang around through at least March. While it may last a bit longer than last year’s La Nina, it should be just as weak, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.