The NOAA has issued their latest winter outlook and it looks like Boise should brace itself for a whole lot of wet socks!
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States is in for it's second La Niña winter in a row. Typically, during La Niña years the Pacific Northwest sees colder temperatures and snowier conditions and the latest models indicate that it's likely to happen again.
How extreme will it be in Boise? Let's take a look at the maps!
Winter 2021 in Boise will Be Wet
Both Ada and Canyon Country clearly fall into the band of green indicating the probability of a 33-40% wetter than normal winter. When making it's "winter" map, the NOAA is looking at conditions likely to play out from December 2021-February 2022. According to historical data from the National Weather Service, "normal" precipitation during Boise winters is 3.78". Last year, we say 3.41". During Snowmageddon (Winter 2016-2017) we saw 6.17".
If you're looking at that number thinking "that looks awfully low for Snowmageddon," remember that number is talking about liquid precipitation. Since it was frozen, 39.1" of snow piled up in Boise that winter. Fun fact? 2016-2017 was also a weak La Niña year, like they're predicting this year.
But Will it Be Cold Enough in Boise for Another Snowmageddon?
That's a good question! If you over lay a map of Idaho's counties on top of NOAA's temperature outlook, Ada County and most of Canyon County are in the band of white which means they've got an equal chance of colder or warmer than average temperatures. With the right amount of moisture, we get snow when the atmospheric temperature is at or below 32º.
Normal for Boise is right hovers right around freezing at 32.8º. Last year we were at warmer at 34.8º. The year of Snowmageddon? We were significantly colder than average at 27.5º.
The Bottom Line for Boise
When it comes to Snowmageddon 2.0, it really depends on which way the temperatures actually play out. The good news is, whether the wet weather the NOAA is predicting comes in the form of rain or snow, it will help improve the drought that we've been experiencing.