We’ve been stuck with La Niña for a long time – and, according to the latest National Weather Service outlook, we’re not getting rid of her just yet. There’s an 80% probability La Niña conditions persist between September and November, which will have an impact on fall weather in California.
La Niña usually splits California into two halves: bringing wetter conditions to the northern part of the state and drier conditions to the south. Between September and November of a La Niña year, areas north of the Bay Area tend to get more rain than usual, according to data from the Climate Prediction Center. South of the Bay Area, most parts of California tend to see normal rain levels, though some desert communities could see even less rain than average.
When it comes to temperatures, California is favored to see above-normal temperatures this fall. According to the latest models, there is a 40% to 50% chance the state sees a warmer-than-average season.
The warm temperatures and potentially dry skies are an ongoing drought concern, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesperson told Nexstar Thursday. Another La Niña winter would likely mean making a very bad drought even worse for California.
The latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor already shows extreme and exceptional drought conditions in many parts of the region. As of Thursday, 99.77% of the state was in a drought, and 16% was in the worst category: exceptional drought.
While the situation is not as dire everywhere as it is in California, the precipitation outlook from September through November also shows it’s likely to be drier-than-normal across pretty much the entire central U.S., from Nevada in the West to Ohio in the east, the upper Midwest and Great Lakes in the north down to Texas in the south.
Only a small part of the mid-Atlantic region is expected to have an especially wet fall.
After November, the probability La Niña continues drops down. By the start of 2023, there’s a less-than-50% chance we’re still in a La Niña pattern. However, NOAA forecasters caution that’s a long ways out, and so the forecast is less reliable.
If La Niña does end in the winter, we’ll likely shift into an “ENSO neutral” pattern, which means we’ll neither be in La Niña nor El Niño.