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2018-19 WINTER WEATHER PREDICTION

Will this winter bring temps to chill the bone?

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2018-19 WINTER WEATHER PREDICTION

Shea Kilpatrick, Lifestyles Editor

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As the mornings slowly get colder in Sandpoint, many are quick to wish for the fast approaching winter to set in as soon as possible. By most people’s standards, every winter in north Idaho is cold to the extreme, but many locals, avid skiers, and boarders still hope for each year to bring an even deeper snowfall.

With this in mind, El Niño comes into play. El Niño and its counterpart, La Niña, are names given to the opposite extreme phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation, other wise known as ENSO.  ENSO is a direct effector of winter weather conditions.

El Niño and La Niña begin in the trade winds of the ocean, El Niño with weakened trade winds while La Niña is the cause of strengthened trade winds. Varying wind levels change the placement of cold water upwellings from the coast of South America to the eastern Pacific.

In layman’s terms, El Nino brings lower precipitation and warmer temperatures to the Northern tier of the United States. La Niña, being the opposing side, leads to colder and wetter weather up north, ultimately providing higher levels of snow pack to the area.

If you’re a winter shredder, your hope lies in the hands of La Niña. But on the other end of the spectrum, winter dreaders, El Niño means not only less snow, but also that temperatures will be less drastic in the Pacific Northwest.

According to meteorologists at the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), their early prediction for the 2018-2019 calls for 70% chance of an El Niño winter, meaning a warmer and drier season. While this is a bummer for those hoping to ride deep pow all winter long, we are still a few months out from any definitive answers.

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About the Writer
Shea Kilpatrick, Lifestyles Editor

Shea Kilpatrick is a junior and it is her first year on staff. She is one of the lifestyles editors.

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2018-19 WINTER WEATHER PREDICTION