The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) says that the main factor for our weather this winter will be El Niño, which is expected to form this fall and continue through the winter. El Niño (which is Spanish for “The Little Boy”) is the name given to the condition when sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific near the equator are warmer than normal. This slight warming of the water has a large impact on the weather throughout the United States.

For Reno/Tahoe, El Niño typically brings warmer-than-normal winters along with drier conditions. The CPC agrees with this and its three-month Temperature Outlook has the Western United States with warmer-than-normal temperatures from October through December. If the forecast verifies, it should mean that homeowners here will not have to run their furnaces as frequently.

The CPC’s precipitation forecast for our area is not as clear. It shows our region as having equal chances of being drier or wetter than normal.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac partially agrees with the CPC, predicting normal or mild temps for our region this winter, but the Almanac also expects lots of snow to fall. Mild temps and plenty of snow? The winter sports lovers among us are no doubt cheering this forecast!