How Will La Niña Affect Alaska?

How Will La Niña Affect Alaska?

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How Will La Niña Affect Alaska?

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Photo Credit: NWS/Climate Prediction Center

Photo Credit: NWS/Climate Prediction Center | Cover Photo: Brennan Lagasse/State Of The Backcountry

With NOAA forecasting a 75% chance of a La Niña this fall/winter, skiers and snowboarders across the globe are wondering how the meteorological event will affect their home ski areas.

Related: 2017 Winter Weather Forecast | Long Range Prediction From NOAA

With the exception of Hawaii, skiers in Alaska have been largely excluded from the La Niña conversation and that’s no fault of their own. Although Alaska is about as far as one can get from the equator, La Niña still affects the northernmost state in the union.

“La Nina winters for Alaska over much of the state are much more likely to be significantly cooler than normal especially compared to El Niño events, such as we just coming out of.” – Rick Thoman, NWS Climate Sciences and Services Manager

When all is said and done, the majority of the skiing done near Valdez could be affected with a below average snow year by La Niña. That said, long-term predictions are just that– predictions. On the flip-side, the mountains near Juneau could benefit from below average temps and above average snowfall.

In the meantime, Alaskans know not to count their chickens before they hatch. That said, it’s still fun to bet on the weather.

Temperature Outlook for January, February, March | Photo Credit: NOAA

Temperature Outlook for January, February, March | Photo Credit: NOAA

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Precipitation outlook for January, February, March | Photo Credit: NOAA

NOAA LA NIÑA OUTLOOK FOR ALASKA

THE HIGHEST PROBABILITIES FOR ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE FORECAST ACROSS SOUTHERN ALASKA, THE ALEUTIANS, AND THE ALASKA PANHANDLE. THE JAS 2016 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK FAVORS ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR PARTS OF ALASKA

Outlooks based on region

  • Southeast AlaskaCold and below average accumulations.
  • Southwest AlaskaCold with above average accumulation
  • Northeast Alaska Equal Chances for an average winter
  • Northwest AlaskaNormal temperatures accompanied by above average accumulations

Also Read: 75% Chance of La Nina This Winter!

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