SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The calendar still says fall, but winter is fast approaching. Last winter was a record breaker, so what can we expect this year?
Leaves are on the ground, a sure sign of fall. For many it's their favorite time of the year but cooler temperatures and beautiful color can quickly change to a winter wonderland which doesn't sit well with everyone.
LDS Business College student Wendy Black said, “I like the snow but I don't like living in it. I've never lived in it and I'm not looking forward to it.”
Brian McInerney is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
He says last winter was particularly cold and wet because of a strong La Nina pattern.
That's colder than normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator.
McInerney said, “What that does is produce colder and wetter conditions in the Pacific northwest and drier and warmer conditions in the desert southwest.”
It's important to remember as we enter the winter season in a La Nina pattern, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be anything like last winter's La Nina.
McInerney said, “It's really hard to repeat record conditions, also this La Nina is not as strong and not anticipated to be as strong as last year so the skill becomes even less and most likely the event we'll see this year won't be as wet or as cold as we saw last year.”
For some, last year wasn't bad at all. "cold and snowy" can be in the eye of the beholder.
SLC resident Paul Kiernan said, “I'm from the east coast originally and it never gets as cold here as it does on the east coast. It really doesn't, you don't have that ocean breeze, it never gets that deep in your bones chill.”
ABC 4 will be looking at models and analyzing the data, but in the end, mother nature will have the final say as to what kind of winter Utah will have.
The NOAA will release its official winter outlook for the US on Thursday.