It's official: La Niña is here

La Niña causes the jet stream to act differently, creating different weather patterns in the United States. (Courtesy Climate Prediction Center)

According to the National Weather Service, La Niña conditions were observed Thursday.

La Niña means the water off the western coast of South America is colder than normal due to the wind patterns ‘upwelling,' or bringing deeper, cooler water to the surface.

This change in ocean temperature has impacts on the climate worldwide.

The NWS has been monitoring the developing La Niña for the last few weeks and how it may impact our winter.

Typically, the Tri-States sees wetter than normal conditions which could mean more snow, but temperatures are not as impacted.

“Typically in La Niña years, Missouri and Illinois aren't terribly affected,” said Jim Kramper, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “We might get a couple of cold outbreaks and a storm here or there but (La Niña) would not cause a severe winter.”

Despite this La Niña is a weaker one, the Climate Prediction Center said Thursday there's a high probability of La Niña continuing through the winter.

La Niña then may have impacts on next spring, which may also cause more active weather.

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