You Can Call It “La Niña”

Put away your snow shovels and road salt. La Niña is here to stay.

Last year’s winter was the biggest on record for the Lancaster area. With over 6 feet of snow, the 2007-2008 winter tripled the average precipitation. Snow days were coming by the handful and it always seemed to be white outside. This year however, with the bitter wind and cold temperatures, some are wondering if we should expect the same.

According to Millersville University’s meteorologist Eric Horst, this year’s winter won’t compare. On average, Lancaster county gets about 25 inches of snow each year. This season, the community can expect the same.

“We’ll probably have a winter closer to the the average, maybe even below average,” said Horst.

Horst explained this year’s winter will be very mild. The temperatures won’t be as rough, and the precipitation will be significantly less.

Why is this winter going to be so mild? The culprit, La Niña.

La Niña is a climate factor that periodically warms the ocean temperatures. Because of the warm temperatures, jet streams and weather patterns are affected all over the world.

“La Niña winters typically have a cold start. As the months go by, the temperatures rise. The winter will be a bit warmer than normal, but towards the end colder temperatures will make their way back,” said Horst.

Overall, Horst foresees a very changeable, but mild winter.

“As of now, there are no big storms coming our way,”said Horst.

Despite a La Niña year, we’re still in Pennsylvania, the land of ice, snow and chilly temps.

By Toni Warfel

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