So long El Nino: Rougher weather ahead next winter?

The sun's out, it's mid-April, and we're already being warned about the winter to come. The National Climate Prediction Center has us on a La Nina watch.

SEATTLE - The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) warned that La Nina may be coming this winter. Typically, some of the coldest and worst winter weather for the Puget Sound lowlands comes during so-called neutral or La Nina conditions. 

"...the chance of a La Nina increases during the late summer or early fall."  said the alert posted Thursday morning from the CPC. It says conditions of warmer-than-normal water in the equatorial Pacific fostering the strong El Nino of the past winter has "weakened appreciably over the last month."

"Nearly all models predict further weakening of El Nino, with a transition to ENSO-Neutral likely during late spring and early summer 2016." said the CPC.  "Then the changes of La Nina increases during the late summer or early fall." 

Some of the worst winter weather has come in neutral years, including around Christmas of 2008-2009. Seattle seemed to struggle that year with snow removal. That led to a management shakeup at the Seattle Department of Transportation and is often cited as a reason why then-Mayor Greg Nickels was ousted by voters the following election.


Copyright 2016 KING


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