Meteorologists are predicting this fall will be warmer than usual, with La Niña conditions that have been with us all year lasting at least through the upcoming season.
An outlook released by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center on Thursday showed a 91% chance of the La Niña weather pattern persisting through November. The weather pattern is one of the factors the service accounts for when determining the seasonal temperature outlook, which showed New York within the 50% to 60% above average temperature range.
The rest of the country will also likely see higher temperatures.
La Niña is a weather pattern determined by cooling water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which can affect climate conditions globally. Typically, La Niña years can be drier than average in southern states, with some precipitation in the northern half of the country. Winters tend to be warmer than average in the South, too, and cooler in the North.
But meteorologist Garett Argianas pointed out that La Niña is helpful in predicting longer-term patterns, like busier hurricane seasons.
“La Niña years are often associated with increased hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean. And that is the projection right now, is that for an above-normal season, though things are running a little bit behind compared to what the climatological normals are,” Argianas said. “One thing, obviously for New York City and for the whole East Coast, is to keep in mind that there's still a ways to go in hurricane season here.”
He added, however, that more factors determine what each season could look like. The last two years also had La Niña conditions that resulted in varying conditions in New York’s winters.
“For the winter of 2020 to 2021, it was above normal snowfall and near normal in temperature. And then in the winter of 2021 to 2022, the snowfall was below normal and temperatures were above normal,” Argianas said. “Just in the last two winters, we were in this La Niña and we had different outcomes. So that's why I say there are other factors at play, not just the La Niña, especially across the northeastern United States.”
There’s a 50% chance that the conditions will last into the winter, according to the Climate Prediction Center – which would mark a third year of the conditions – something that’s only happened two other times since 1950.