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Understanding La Nina

SnowHow might that be interpreted by the non-meteorologist? Perhaps a paraphrase of what the experts are saying is the easiest. So, winter weather of some significance is expected for folks living within the northern confines of our nation, i.e. Idaho to Maine, while folks in southern environs may expect warmer temps, perhaps a smidge above normal, with precipitation anticipated to be less than normal.

This La Niña is currently developing as we speak. How does a La Niña take shape? It starts with cooler than normal ocean water temperatures near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean.  

With that said, what can we expect in Ste. Genevieve County? A greater than 2/3 chance of below normal temperatures with normal snowfall that, given the right set of circumstances, may be on the ground longer than what might be enjoyable. The chance of an ice-storm is greater with the developing pattern; also in the mix might be an isolated, but not necessarily rare, winter tornado.

What to do!  Plan on at least one major winter event by taking inventory of food supplies and the method by which that food might be prepared should power to your home fall victim to the weather. In addition to food, warmth and shelter, have you been vaccinated against the flu?  Have you protected yourself from pneumonia? Do you have a reasonable supply of medications necessary for daily consumption if travel is restricted or impossible for 3-7 days?

Here's hoping for a White Christmas, but winter will last long past this special day.