Forecasters Downgrade La Niña Predictions

About those La Niña winter predictions…

Fuh-get about it.

Federal forecasters downgraded the strength and probability of El Niño's little sister Thursday. There is now a 55 to 60 percent chance of a La Niña this fall or winter, compared to 75 percent in May. Even then, it’s now expected to last only a week at moderate strength.

That could actually be good news for the Golden State because, unlike its precursor, the La Niña pattern brings dry conditions along with its cooler temps. But it also means the likelihood of a warmer winter, and given the recent heat waves, that’s the last thing Californians want to hear.

The revised predictions are a result of the failure of west-moving trade winds to materialize as expected. Those winds help bring cold water to the surface.

El Niño, which officially ended last month, had a disparate impact around the state. While Northern California saw the heavy precipitation promised, the phase bypassed much of Southern California, leaving it in the same dry boat it’s been in for the past five years.