La Nina cold weather possible this winter

Idaho’s chances of a snowy and cold winter are increasing as forecasters continue to build confidence in a La Niña weather pattern forming later this year.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center issued an updated La Niña forecast May 9, upping the chances of La Niña developing this summer as El Niño continues to weaken.

The Idaho Statesman reports that one of the defining characteristics of La Niña is a weakened jet stream over the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The colder sea surface temperatures off the West Coast force the jet stream northward toward Alaska before dipping southward into mainland North America once it’s over land.

This weather pattern typically leads to drier weather in the south, but wetter weather for the Pacific Northwest.

Temperatures are also normally colder throughout the country’s northern half during La Niña winters.

Boise’s typical winter occurs December to February — with 14 inches of snow and an average temperature of 33 degrees, so Idahoans can expect more snow and lower temperatures during a La Nina winter.