Weather effects from the La Niña

Tired of waiting for the groundhog to come out and tell you if you have to suffer through six more weeks of winter, or if spring is finally on its way? Well luckily enough you won’t have to wait till February second because I’ve gathered it all here.

Believe it or not, this winter has actually been warmer for Southern P.A. then some other years! The warmth is due to above normal precipitation levels and below normal snowfall.These two changes are caused by a “La Nina.” What’s a La Nina you ask?  It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. A “La Nina” is when the Pacific Ocean temperatures fall below normal. This cooled water affects the entire globe, with the Northeast experiencing brief periods of below average temperatures.

The coldest and snowiest periods were earlier this month and also mid January. Our average high is usually around 38.8°F,  our average low is roughly around 20.9°F, and precipitation levels for this area usually reach 3.23.  Temperatures for the first half of this month, however,  remained in the teens, with windchill factors reducing that to single digits. Even a weak La Niña can wreak havoc on daily averages, but although forecasters think this system will continue, they can't predict how things will play out come spring. 


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Alaina Lehman, Northern High School


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