What Another La Nina Winter Means...

If you follow this blog or have heard me speak at various conservation district meetings, you know that I have been talking about the return of La Nina for several months now. We neutralized in the spring, and have not pushed into El Nino territory as some scientists suggested we would. Below is the latest model forecast for the rest of 2011 and early 2012:

Notice where the model takes us.  Not only does it take us to La Nina territory, but possibly a medium to strong event.  All of those different lines are different runs of this model, and the majority of them take us back to where we were earlier this year.  What history has taught us is that a strong La Nina event when the Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase, is usually followed by a weaker event the next winter.  A double header of sorts...  I spoke about this a couple weeks ago, but what would this mean?  Well, if it indeed comes to fruition, about the same type of weather we've experienced for the past year.

Southern Colorado:  A dry, mild, and windy fall, winter, and spring.  Last winter, CO Springs had the second least snowy winter on record, so it stands to reason that we won't see much snow in the winter of 2011-12.  Most of the southeast plains didn't receive much snow, and that bread a drought that is still going on.  The southern mountains did better, in contrast to the plains.

Northern Colorado:  A dry, mild, and windy fall and winter.  The plains would remain pretty dry in the fall and winter, but the patter would likely break in the spring.  Now the drought has been over for the northern part (east of the mountains) of the state for the past several months.  So, they have a ways to go before getting back to drought status.  The northern mountains received a ton of snow last winter, and will likely have another very snowy winter in 2011-12.

So unless we see a sustained period of drought relief here in the next two months, the current drought will not only not be erased, but will become much worse.  I am going to be posting a lot more on this in the near future. 

Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe


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  • by STEVE Location: McClave on Nov 5, 2011 at 07:47 PM
    HI Brian, Thanks for your presentation to F.C. Enjoyed You but not what you had to say. Looks like we are in for a tuff year again and it is componding. No moisture in the ground. Seems like dry begats dry.
  • by Ryan Location: Monument on Sep 16, 2011 at 07:58 PM
    Great another season were we don't get much Snowfall at all that's just terrible just what I don't wanna hear
  • by Ed Location: Record Springs, CO on Sep 1, 2011 at 10:28 PM
    Guess none of the weather men think it's a big deal that we just set the record for the HOTTEST August ever recorded in Colorado Springs....
  • by Al Location: Security-Widefield on Aug 31, 2011 at 08:05 PM
    I was just looking at the NOAA data for PDO. I maybe wrong but is it neutral for now? I would think that this could translate to a nuetral ENSO for now. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.
  • by Brian Location: Weather Center on Aug 28, 2011 at 09:51 PM
    Gotta be honest with you guys, it is looking pretty bleak again for snowfall. I've been speaking to many farmers and ranchers around the state helping them prepare for the resurgence of drought. Can't control the weather, but we can control how we manage our business around it...
  • by Ed Location: La Nina Springs, CO on Aug 24, 2011 at 04:24 AM
    I guess your post isn't worthy of a response. This August has indeed been ridiculously hot. Records broken for the last two days, probably another one broken today. If my math is correct, it has been the hottest summer on record in Colorado Springs. I guess it isn't any big deal because nobody is talking about it around here. I guess since La Nina is such a "no brainer" there hasn't been any changes in that either? This winter is going to bite. Period. I'm always a glass half empty person, but it seems now the glass is totally empty. I've given up on ever having a winter with any worthwhile snow here. Got a nice snow shovel and kids sled for sale - only used once! I still chuckle every time I walk into Lowe's and see the snowblowers selection parked in front. What kind of....nevermind. Rant, rave, rant, rave.
  • by Julio Location: 80907 on Aug 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM
    Anyone notice we're heading towards the hottest August on record? I think this has to be the hottest summer on record for colorado springs...we were top five hottest june and july now the TOP hottest August. Any input brian? might have our first hard freeze in oh....Janurary this year?
  • by @BrianBledsoe on Aug 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM
    Must you be so depressingly pessimistic? Just kidding...I'm just hoping you're wrong. :)
  • by Anonymous on Aug 9, 2011 at 08:11 AM
    Brian what is your prediction for the us as a whole this winter????????????????????????????????????????????
  • by Brian Location: Weather Center on Jul 26, 2011 at 02:40 PM
    Ed, most of what you will see right now is still from the line of thinking that we will stay "neutral" for the rest of the year. However, using history and the CFS model from above, La Nina returning is a no-brainer. The period we are in is a mirror image from late 2007 through early 2009. La Nina, briefly neutral, La Nina, then maybe El Nino next Summer.
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