La Niña turns out less severe in retrospect

Apr 13, 2011

The Washington State Climatologist is out with a report card on how the weather phenomenon La Niña treated the Northwest. If you thought it’s been wetter and colder than usual since November, you’re right. But overall, this La Niña was milder than predicted. KPLU's Tom Banse reports:

La Niña is one of those climate swings that start in the waters of the tropical Pacific. Traditionally, it brings us cooler and wetter weather than normal. Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond crunched together the temperature and snowfall records from across the region. He rates what we’ve just gone through as a “middle of the pack” La Niña.

 “I expected it to be maybe a little bit more on the severe side. That was partly because of the relatively cold temperatures in the equatorial region going into the fall.”

Bond says the tropical ocean conditions that influence our weather are returning briskly to a “neutral” state. He predicts “a lingering hangover” from La Niña for the next month or so with cool and wet conditions. But after that, as he puts it, the deck won’t be stacked toward weather extremes one way or the other.