Could Utah see a La Niña winter this year?

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(ABC4) – The chances of us seeing a La Niña winter are increasing.

The Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña watch due to signs in the southern atmosphere indicating the shift. While it’s too early to tell what this will mean for Utah, this could be a sign of hope for a better winter.

The CPC is predicting that we will stay in the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) phase through the rest of the summer. But by the time we get to December, the small changes in the water of the western coast of South America will begin to cool.

This would then cause the chain reaction that would end up leaving us with a high pressure system sitting over the Gulf of Alaska, keeping the polar jet stream a bit farther north and causing the Pacific jet stream to become a bit more variable.

This variability is a good thing, as this could cause for moisture to flow right into the Great Basin via a phenomenon called at atmospheric river. Many may know it by its more colloquial name, the ‘Pineapple Express.’

Again, while it is still too early to predict what this year’s La Niña phase will hold, this shift could mean that we might have a solid winter in store for us. 

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