NOAA says winter should be colder, wetter in the Northwest this year

SPOKANE, Wash.– The NOAA winter outlook is pointing towards a busy winter season in the Inland Northwest.

The outlook gives us a 50% chance for colder and wetter (snowier) conditions in December, January and February. The odds for average conditions are 33% and the odds of warmer and drier than average weather are just 16%.

Image Winteroutlook Seasonal Precipitation 2022 102022


Image Winteroutlook Seasonal Temperature 2022 102022


For the third straight year, La Niña is expected to boost the odds of cold and wet weather in the northern U.S. and dry and warm weather in the southern U.S.

RELATED: What can we expect out of a third La Niña winter this year?

In the Inland Northwest, the past two winters, also influenced by La Niña, haven’t lived up to snowy predictions. La Niña is supposed to influence another climate cycle called the Pacific-North American Pattern (PNA). The negative phase of the PNA brings colder and snowier weather to the Northwest.

the phases of the pacific north american pattern


If a winter has more negative than positive periods of the PNA, we will have the cold and snowy winter that many expect. Why that hasn’t happened the past two winters is anyone’s guess, but keeping an eye on the PNA index this winter should give us a heads up on when the pattern this winter changes from dry and calm to snowy and active.