AUSTIN (KXAN) — The mid-October El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) update from the Climate Prediction Center and the Columbia Climate School points toward an even higher probability of a third winter in a row of La Niña, increasing the odds over previous forecasts.

A month ago, the odds of La Niña continuing through winter (December-February) were at 65%, but the latest forecast odds have jumped to 75%.

What does a La Niña mean for Pennsylvania?

abc27 meteorologist Dan Tomaso said last year that La Niña conditions typically lead to wetter conditions west of Pennsylvania, drier conditions south of Pennsylvania, but a bit of a mixed message for the Keystone State itself.

El Niño winter weather is a bit easier to predict than La Niña winter weather in Pennsylvania, Tomaso noted (El Niño usually means noreasters and big storms). Previous La Niña winters in the state have seen slightly above-average snowfall and near-average to above-average temperatures.

Typical La Nina winter in North America
Typical La Niña winter in North America (NOAA/CPC)

When will La Nina end?

La Niña is favored to end during the February-April period, and an ENSO neutral pattern is still favored to take over, but the odds of La Niña continuing into at least a portion of the spring season have increased.

October 2022 ENSO Outlook (CPC)
October 2022 ENSO Outlook (CPC)

The CPC ENSO forecast is broken up into overlapping three-month periods:

  • The odds of La Niña continuing into January-March are now up to ~58% (up from ~53% a month ago).
  • The odds of a La Niña February-April are now up to around 44% (up from ~38% a month ago).
  • The odds of a La Niña spring, March-May are now up to 26% (up from ~22% a month ago).

NOAA is expected to release its winter 2022-2023 outlook next week. We’ll bring you the expectations as soon as they are announced.