La Nina set to weaken heading into spring

WINNIPEG, Jan. 3 (CNS) – Despite being gripped by freezing temperatures, one weather expert says he thinks the Canadian Prairies will see a weakening of the La Nina weather phenomena in the coming months, which will mean more moisture come spring-time.

“Most likely we’ll have neutral conditions with a slight La Nina bias during the spring,” said Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. in Kansas City, “What that will translate into is a wetter scenario.”

That doesn’t mean Western Canada is out of the woods though. Multiple areas of southern Saskatchewan are still considered to be in a drought while southern Alberta also has low moisture levels.

Typically, areas that are drought-stressed do better with a warmer winter because it allows snow to seep into the ground before the spring run-off.

Lerner expects many areas that have notable moisture deficits to see better moisture levels than if La Nina hung around in full-force.

“If for some reason La Nina stays then probably there would be a tendency for a bit of moisture early on and then drying down later in the spring and early summer,” he explained.

On the other hand, if La Nina totally disappears in the next few months there will probably be a wetter end to the spring, said Lerner.

He notes La Nina may also partially explain some of the frigid temperatures in Western Canada right now but most of it is due to the polar vortex.

“I think that the cold has been more significant than advertised,” he said. “It could hurt us down the road if we don’t get into the wetter bias.”

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