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La Niña has arrived. Here’s what it means for Utah and the West

La Niña will stick around and bring dry conditions to the Southwest, according to scientists

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that a La Nina has formed.
County of Santa Barbara Fire Department firefighters extinguish a roadside fire next to train tracks off of the U.S. 101 highway in Goleta, Calif. Experts say the La Niña weather pattern has arrived.
Ringo H.W. Chiu, Associated Press

La Niña has arrived, and it’s set to bring more winter conditions to the western United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said Thursday La Niña conditions emerged over the last month.

La Niña often brings wetter and colder conditions to the Pacific Northwest and the northern Plains.

  • The South, meanwhile, has warmer-than-average conditions.
  • The Southwest will stay dry.
  • Meanwhile, the Southeast is often drier during La Niña, and it increases the risk of tropical storms and hurricanes.

So what does this mean for Utah and the West?

Per CNN, the core of the West — much of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming and Idaho — will remain untouched by the weather patterns. Whereas the Northwest will be wetter, the Southwest will be drier.

  • The Mountain West, meanwhile, appears to be unfazed by the weather patterns, according to a CNN map.

That said, 2022 Old Farmer’s Almanac expected to see frigid temperatures across the country “with all but the Pacific Coast itself and portions of the Southwest experiencing the frigid cold predicted for much of the rest of the country,” according to the almanac.

But Mark Struthwolf, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, told the Deseret News that might not be the case for Utah.

  • “I would love that to be true,” he said.