Winter shaping up, La Nina Could bring another big snow yearBoise-The National Weather Service declared this week that La Nina conditions are officially here. Forecasters say there’s now about a 65 to 75 percent chance that La Niña conditions could continue through the winter.
In Idaho, the La Niña weather pattern is known for bringing above-average precipitation to the state while delivering below-average precipitation to California.
"Last year, we had cold temperatures. And by February we started getting a lot more snow in the high country and had some record high-levels," said Ron Abramovich of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
"Storm after storm Southwest mountains had twice as much snow as normal last year," said Abramovich."Central Idaho got 5 times the normal precipitation in February.” Nearly 40 inches of snow fell in Boise from December through April while Pocatello had more than 86 inches, that's second-biggest winter on record.
Abramovich says that all that snow last year came from the La Niña weather pattern. El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of what is known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation - that's the fluctuation in temperatures between the ocean and atmosphere in the eastern Pacific along the equator.
"We'd be hard-pressed to see back-to-back rainfall patterns like what we saw last year,” said Abramovich. “But we’re going to get storms.”