According to NOAA, a pool of cold water is emerging in the Pacific below a shallow mass of warm surface water that is losing steam each day. That heat loss is a signal that El Niño is on the way out and La Niña is making her move. As long as the cold mass of water continues to build, Pacific surface water temperatures are likely to drop, resulting in what could become a strong La Niña event.
“The influence of ENSO on temperature and precipitation in the United States is weakest in summer and strongest in winter. Last week, NOAA continued the previous month’s La Niña watch, indicating that conditions were favorable for La Niña to develop by fall.” – NOAA
Before that happens, a multitude of things need to line up for a significant La Niña to begin affecting the United States this upcoming ski season. One of the good things about a possible Niña event is that the northeast could bounce back from this past year’s dismal season with an above average year for precipitation and below average temperatures.
*Here are the La Nina winners and losers based on temperature and precipitation records
La Niña Winners
The Pacific Northwest
The Northern Rockies
La Niña Toss-ups
La Niña Losers
What is La Nina?
During a period of La Niña, the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 3–5 °C. In the United States, an appearance of La Niña happens for at least five months of La Niña conditions.
Related: 75% Chance of La Nina This Winter!