GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A La Niña in sight is a skier's delight!
La Niña pattern is when below-average seas surface temperatures can be expected for the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. This cooler phase now has a 75% chance of continuing into the winter, causing the Climate Prediction Center to have issued a La Niña advisory,
What does this mean for Michigan winters? Statistically speaking, Michigan sees a colder and wetter weather pattern influenced by La Niña and that results in a snowier forecast outlook. This is perfect for skiers and snowboarders.
All of this revolves around the jet stream. The Polar jet stream is the area of winds high in the atmosphere that often separates the cold and warm across the United States. When La Nina progresses, the position of the jet shifts. This means that cooler arctic air is driven down towards Michigan and a wetter weather pattern can be expected.
Across the United States, La Niña brings the colder and wetter pattern to the north of the Jet Stream. To the south of the Polar jet, the winter will bring a warmer and drier pattern. It also has been linked to more hurricanes in the Atlantic and fewer hurricanes in the Pacific.
There are several other factors that will contribute to the atmosphere, leading to the resulting winter weather pattern. Not to mention that no one La Niña is the same. This is evident by the image below, which shows all the years since 1981 that coincided with a La Niña pattern. So, one must keep in mind that there is still a great deal of uncertainty as to how this will impact the United State. In the end, it does still provide a general idea.
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