La Niña could mean warmer, drier winter for the ArkLaTex

La Niña could mean warmer, drier winter for the ArkLaTex

For many people, winter is their favorite season.

It typically gives the ArkLaTex a long break from the sizzling summer heat.

Unfortunately, that was not the case last year. The winter of 2016-17 was the second warmest winter on record in Shreveport.

Now with winter 2017-18 quickly approaching, many are asking whether we are going to get a real winter this year. Or is summer just going to continue through December, January and February?

When forecasting seasonal outlooks, meteorologist looks at different ocean patterns and oscillations in the Atlantic and Pacific.

One of the more common and popular oscillations is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. It characterizes the sea surface temperatures of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

When the sea surface temperatures are warmer than average, it is known as an El Niño. \

When the sea surface temperatures are cooler than average, it is known as a La Niña.

A La Niña has about a 60 percent chance of developing before winter and is expected to be weak, according to the Climate Prediction Center.

Typically during a La Niña winter, warmer and drier than average conditions are expected.

The three most recent winters to coincide with a weak La Niña are 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2016-17.

Each of those winters were warmer and drier than average.

The outlook for winter 2017-18 from the Climate Prediction Center favors above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation.

This does not mean the ArkLaTex will experience no cold weather.

It just suggests that the cold air is not going to stick around long.

And with drier-than-average conditions expected, dry conditions could persist.

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