DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – La Niña is a global weather pattern that usually lasts under a year or two, but that is not the case with the current cycle, and it could impact your winter.

This winter is forecasted to be the third winter in a row with La Niña in place, a rare feat that has only occurred two other times since records were kept beginning in 1950. Having three years in a La Niña phase is rare because it is part of a cycle called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Ashley Novak, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Wilmington said, “So it’s just a recurring climate pattern in which temperatures of the waters in the Central and Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean vary.”

Novak said, “La Niña is not the only driving factor of our weather patterns so overall you are expecting to have a tendency to have warmer and wetter conditions. There can still be cooler and dry portions of the winter as well.”

The jet stream is the dividing line between cooler air and warmer air, and with the La Niña pattern expected to be in place, the Ohio Valley could see a variety of precipitation types this winter.

Kyle Brown, meteorologist at the National Weather Service Northern Indiana said, “This is not a slam dunk that there is going to be more snow than normal, it is just going to have to depend on how those air masses play out. If you get that mild air mass you could see more rain from one event and if you get that cold air mass in place well then you might get that snow or a mix between the two.”

The Climate Prediction Center says that La Niña is 91% favored to continue for the rest of the year and a 54% chance of continuing into the first three months in 2023.