EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) have released their winter outlook for the 2022-23 season.
It’s the third consecutive winter where La Niña is in place across the United States. When this occurs, it’s referred to as a “triple dip,” a rare phenomenon that has only happened twice since 1950, according to NOAA.
A triple-dip La Niña occurred in the early 1970s, then again in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, experts say given the small sample size of this phenomenon, it adds challenges to the winter outlook.
What Does This Mean For New England?
Typically, when La Niña is present, slightly above average temperatures occur across the northeastern United States.
NOAA and the CPC are giving equal chances of seeing both below and above-average precipitation for New England.
A couple of key factors play a role in the type of weather New England sees during the winter months.
- Location of the jet stream: If the jet stream sets up over the coast or further west over the Appalachians, warmer air will be infiltrated off the Atlantic and over the coastal plain. If the jet stream is further east, it would allow for colder air to advance further south and east.
- Timing: This is especially key with winter storms and forecasts. If you’re a snow lover, you would want cold air arriving and in place during and a day or two before a storm system arrives or passes by. A fresh injection of cold air, that may only last a couple days, paired with a nearby storm system would be enough for snowfall.
Will La Niña have an impact on the frequency and strength of winter storms in New England? NOAA says that is still to be determined, given the volatility of the changing variables listed above.
In short, New Englanders can expect a fairly similar winter to the past couple of years.