Outdoors

Long-range weather predictions spell good news for NW skiers, river runners

Bob Legasa of Coeur d’Alene blasts some epic powder from the 2007-2008 ski season at Schweitzer. 49 Degrees North set a record for visitors while Silver Mountain recorded its longest season. Stellar whitewater and fishing seasons followed.Photo by Jennifer Ekstrom/Schweitzer Mountain Resort (Photo by Jennifer Ekstrom/Schweitzer Mountain Resort / The Spokesman-Review)
Bob Legasa of Coeur d’Alene blasts some epic powder from the 2007-2008 ski season at Schweitzer. 49 Degrees North set a record for visitors while Silver Mountain recorded its longest season. Stellar whitewater and fishing seasons followed.Photo by Jennifer Ekstrom/Schweitzer Mountain Resort (Photo by Jennifer Ekstrom/Schweitzer Mountain Resort / The Spokesman-Review)

La Niña, which contributed to extreme weather around the globe during the first half of 2011, has re-emerged in the tropical Pacific Ocean and is forecast to gradually strengthen and continue into winter. Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have upgraded last month’s La Niña Watch to a La Niña Advisory.

NOAA will issue its official winter outlook in mid-October, but La Niña winters often see drier than normal conditions across the southern tier of the United States and wetter than normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley.

“This means drought is likely to continue in the drought-stricken states of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “La Niña also often brings colder winters to the Pacific Northwest and the northern Plains, and warmer temperatures to the southern states.”




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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