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NOAA's Northwest Winter Forecast looks good for snow lovers

Snow at Stevens  Pass in October (KOMO  Photo)

SEATTLE -- NOAA's eagerly-awaited winter forecast was published Thursday and the news is good for those who like winter sports and maybe a snow day or two in the lowlands.

With odds continuing to favor La Nina conditions -- typically meaning cool and wetter winters across the Northern U.S., NOAA is now giving much of the Pacific Northwest a greater than average chance of cooler than normal conditions for December through February -- their official meteorological winter period. For rainfall, they're giving equal chances -- meaning no signal either way, but rain fans, just hang tight. Good news is coming for you after this Tweet:

As we get farther into winter, the influence of La Nina is expected to be a little more significant, and now not only do we maintain our cooler than normal forecast, but now we get a wetter than normal forecast as well -- great news for skiers as wet + cool = gobs of mountain snow.

The cool signal holds into their February-April maps, then equals out in spring as La Nina fades before switching back to leaning for a warmer than normal summer again in 2018. Precipitation follows a similar script -- wetter than normal conditions expected until April, then the chances equal out to where there is no signal either way toward wet, dry or normal.

So skiers, snowboarders and snow lovers, things are looking good for this winter as a healthy snowpack and occasional lowland snow events look like decent bets. If it helps for reference, last winter was also a weak La Nina and I'd think most winter fans were pretty happy with how that one went. Cross fingers!

What about the rest of autumn?

NOAA forecasters are giving essentially a shrug for the Northwest, with no signal either way of it being a warm/cool or wet/dry rest o the autumn, although the Desert Southwest sure looks like autumn will be more like post-summer.

But as you've seen already this week, a normal autumn can still be pretty wet and blustery!

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