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According to forecasters at the National Weather Service in Wilmington, forecasters said the La Nina pattern developing across the nation hasn’t given a strong signal on how cold it will be this winter.
While temperatures have been colder than normal this month, Meteorologist Eric Coniglio of the National Weather Service said it may not be until the end of December to get a better idea of how the La Nina pattern will affect this part of the nation. Coniglio said the northern tier states are expected to see colder temperatures while the southern tier states will have warmer temperatures than average for the winter.
According to Accuweather.com, a La Nina weather pattern is when easterly trade winds over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. For La Nina, the easterly trade winds strengthen. This blows more warm water west, and allows cold water below the ocean’s surface to push towards the top near the South American coast to replace the warm water. An El Nino pattern is just the opposite.
A typical La Nina winter will feature drier and milder conditions across the South, much like what we’re seeing in the current Southeast drought and elevated fire conditions, according to Accuweather.com. The Pacific Northwest will become wetter than normal, while the Northeast will have cold periods, but these are usually short lived.