DENVER (KDVR) — La Niña has been with us all year, and it’s not showing any sign of leaving soon. For most of Colorado, it could mean a drier and warmer than average summer.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated outlook stating that La Niña is favored to stay in place through the summer. There’s a 59% chance will stick around through August, and the odds are about even that it will continue past August into the fall (NOAA is giving it a 50-55% chance right now).
La Niña – and its opposite, El Niño – are characterized by the temperature of the Pacific Ocean. But they have major impacts on the weather we experience on land.
According to the Colorado Climate Center, a La Niña summer in Colorado typically leads to above-average temperatures for the eastern half of the state. Most of Colorado also tends to see slightly below-average precipitation in these conditions.
La Niña typically brings drier conditions to the southern half of the country and more precipitation to pockets of the northern half. Drought conditions often worsen, and that looks to be the case for most of the West this summer.
When it comes to the summer outlook, NOAA is predicting a hot one for just about everyone. The three-month outlook through July shows warm weather for all states except the Great Lakes region.
The hottest temperatures in the country are predicted in the four-corners states, including Colorado.