35 degrees - 10:29 am - blue sky with a few scattered clouds...
Starting in November 2010, La Niña, an anomalous cooling of waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific, wreaked havoc with weather around the globe. It was a near record event by some measures. By May 2011, though, the associated cool ocean temperatures dissipated, marking the end of the event. Since then, ocean surface temperatures have remained near normal. And for a few months, forecasters had been predicting things to remain that way for the rest of the year.
That makes sense. After a La Niña, conditions usually hang around normal or flip to an El Niño in the tropical Pacific. Or course, the expected doesn’t always happen.
In the winter of 2007-08, a fairly strong La Niña developed, which brought us 14+ feet of snow. It subsided by May of 2008, and at that point, forecasters were fairly certain neutral conditions would reign for the rest of the year. Yet in December 2008, ocean temperature suddenly dipped, throwing the eastern Pacific back into La Niña conditions. The second La Niña wasn’t as strong as the first that year.
Despite everything, last years La Niña really wasn’t too bad. Forecasters have been predicting a “double dip” La Niña for this year for a few months now, but the new fear is a repeat of the 2007-08 winter.
Even though weather predictions can be flawed, it is always better to be safe than sorry. So that means that we are working double time on our winter prep! Especially since they are calling for snow this Thursday.
Here are a few pictures from the winter of 2007-08. Yup, that's a lot of snow!