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How La Niña's End This Spring Will Impact Virginia Weather

For the first time in several years, La Niña will end it's calming effect on Virginia's weather. In fact, there is an 85% to 95% chance we'll enter an "ENSO neutral" pattern where neither La Niña nor El Niño is present. This means Spring weather in Virginia will be harder to predict.

"ENSO neutral effectively means that conditions across the Tropical Pacific are closer to average, so there isn't a big disruption in the atmospheric circulation that is offered by El Niño La Niña," says Michelle L'Heureux, a meteorologist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It refers to the period of transition between the two climate conditions. This year, El Nino will likely return in the Fall.

The absence of these two weather patterns means other climatological forces can prevail, such as global warming and natural seasonal variability.

In other words, the Climate Prediction center says it looks like it will be hot in Virginia.

Spring Temperature Outlook

Virginia's Spring temperatures are predicted to be between 40-50% above normal. Virginia averages 54.1° F (usually 5 degrees cooler in the mountains and 5 degrees warmer at the coast). So Virginian's can expect an average of between 75 and 81° F. Most of Virginia set a high record on February 23rd in the mid-80's, so the effect may already be in place.


Spring Precipitation Outlook

The good news for farmers and gardeners alike, is that precipitation is predicted to be above normal this spring. Most of Virginia will see a 30-40% increase in precipitation, or a jump from an average of 4" per month to around 5.2-5.6" per month. Parts of Northern Virginia will see even larger increases of 40-50%.

And, for those who swear by the Farmer's Almanac, it agrees that we are looking at a hot, humid, and thundery preamble to this summer.




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