It's official: We're in a La Niña that could last through the winter

Updated:

ATLANTA - La Niña is here and is forecast to last through this winter. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a weak La Nina has formed and is expected to stick around for several months. La Niña is a natural cooling of parts of the Pacific that alters weather patterns around the globe.

We maintain our winter weather outlook for overall above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation.

Below-average precipitation doesn’t mean zero precipitation. It means the total amount of precipitation that we receive will all-around be below-average. Because of the overall warmer-than-average trend, precipitation that falls has a lower potential to be all snow; it will likely be a combination. We will still have weather systems that produce precipitation, and we’ll still have cold snaps. But the overall average will be warmer and drier.  

Our team of Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologists will be monitoring the conditions throughout the winter.

“That said, I do expect cold snaps but they’ll be ‘snaps’, not lasting very long,” said Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls.

The La Niña pattern also sets north Georgia up for better icing potential. 

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Last year’s La Niña was unusually brief, forming in November and gone by February. This one should hang around through at least March. While it may last a bit longer than last year’s La Nina, it should be just as weak, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

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