LOCAL NEWS

La Nina is here: What it means for the Northwest

Oct 18, 2016, 5:28 AM | Updated: 10:56 am
La Nina...
Seattleites brave the snow during the 2012 winter season. (AP)
(AP)

If you thought the over-hyped storm this October meant that autumn and winter will be mild — think again. Experts warn La Nina is coming. And that means some significant weather hazards.

“Get ready for these kinds of things, whether it’s wind, flooding or snow,” said Ted Buehner with the National Weather Service. “It’s that time of year.”

October already has exceeded average rainfall

Buehner said the coming seasons will hold “active, hazardous weather.” That means snow, rain, wind, flooding, and landslides. The Northwest is about to experience a La Nina — following the El Nino pattern last autumn and winter. More specifically, it is predicted to be a weak / neutral La Nina, and that particular type has brought severe weather to the region in the past.

“Historically, it tends to give us some pretty active fall and winter seasons,” Buehner said. “I’d say we’ve already seen a bit of that.”

For example, this October far exceeded average rainfall for the month within two weeks. Buehner points to other weak / neutral La Nina’s to make the point. The Snomegedon of 2008 is one such season. The winter of 1997 was another season. Back then, the Puget Sound region had as much as 2 feet of snow dumped on it at once.

The follow-up to the heavy snow is important, too. In both historic cases, heavy rain followed in January causing severe flooding and landslides.

And in case you forgot what La Nina is:

“La Nina is when the sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific tropical waters – west of Peru – are cooler than average,” Buehner said. “As a result, we tend to have the Pacific storm track and the jet stream spending a lot more time at our latitude, versus El Nino which is what we had last winter when the waters are warmer than average. As a result, the jet stream spends a lot more time across California.”

La Nina, the mountains and skiing

This could all be good news if you are a skier or a snowboarder.

The mountains are expected to have, at least, average snow pack. But it could be better than that, according to Buehner.

“Typically, in La Nina seasons we tend to have a pretty healthy mountain snow pack,” Buehner said. “Even the outlook at this point indicates, at least, average snow pack.”

Local News

fall city...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Two dead after tree crushes car in Fall City

Two people are dead after a tree fell on a car in Fall City on Sunday afternoon, according to Eastside Fire and Rescue.
20 hours ago
Paine Field...
Kathryn Altena

Paine Field recertified as ‘Salmon Safe’ by Oregon based nonprofit

Paine Field was recently recertified as "Salmon Safe" by an Oregon based environmental nonprofit, after first earning the certification in 2019.
20 hours ago
covid...
MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine study seeks local participants to understand COVID spread

UW Medicine invites Washington state residents up to age 85 to submit a survey about their exposure to COVID during the pandemic as part of a study.
2 days ago
Amazon...
MyNorthwest Staff

Amazon hiring for more than 500 positions at new sort center in Fife

A new Amazon facility in Fife, Washington, that's set to open later this month has starting hiring for more than 500 positions.
2 days ago
hospitals...
Nicole Jennings

Rural Eastern Washington hospitals say no big losses in staffing post-vaccine mandate

Some of the rural Eastern Washington hospitals that were expected to have big losses after the vaccine mandate say things are going well.
2 days ago
Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
La Nina is here: What it means for the Northwest