La Niña prepares to soak Pacific Northwest

November 2, 2010

The extended forecast calls for La Niña.

La Niña means unusually cold temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near South America — and colder-than-normal temperatures and greater-than-normal rain- and snowfall in Western Washington.

Ni Cushmeer, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle, said residents should expect “classic La Niña” conditions to start in November. The combination of soggy conditions and cold temperatures has emergency planners concerned about floods and snowfall.

“As we go into a La Niña weather pattern, we expect that we’re probably going to have more rain than usual from October to December, it’s going to be colder than normal from January to March and we’re also going to see an increased precipitation potential in those months of January to March,” King County Emergency Management Director Hillman Mitchell said. “Throughout the whole winter, we’re looking at a wetter pattern and a colder pattern toward the latter part of the winter.”

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