AUSTIN (KXAN) — The mid-October El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) update from the Climate Prediction Center and the Columbia Climate School points toward an even higher probability of a third winter in a row of La Niña, increasing the odds over previous forecasts.

A month ago, the odds of La Niña continuing through winter (December-February) were at 65%, but the latest forecast odds have jumped to 75%.

What does a La Niña mean for the Pacific Northwest?

La Niña is a climate pattern resulting from cooler-than-normal temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that can have impacts across the globe.

A winter La Niña typically brings a warmer-than-normal and drier-than-normal period in the South, with the North tending to be wetter and colder.

Typical La Nina winter in North America
Typical La Niña winter in North America (NOAA/CPC)

When will La Nina end?

La Niña is favored to end during the February-April period, and an ENSO neutral pattern is still favored to take over, but the odds of La Niña continuing into at least a portion of the spring season have increased.

October 2022 ENSO Outlook (CPC)
October 2022 ENSO Outlook (CPC)

The CPC ENSO forecast is broken up into overlapping three-month periods:

  • The odds of La Niña continuing into January-March are now up to ~58% (up from ~53% a month ago).
  • The odds of a La Niña February-April are now up to around 44% (up from ~38% a month ago).
  • The odds of a La Niña spring, March-May are now up to 26% (up from ~22% a month ago).

NOAA is expected to release its winter 2022-2023 outlook next week. We’ll bring you the expectations as soon as they are announced.