Tough to Predict La Nina Impact on Reno

RENO, NV - While it's been dry and sunny in Reno lately, forecasters said it is unclear if this is being caused by the La Nina.

A La Nina happens when the ocean water is colder than usual, causing different weather patterns. The La Nina may bring more snow than is typical to the Pacific Northwest, while continuing the drought in Texas.

"This is perfect, this is just perfect weather I'm over the snow and ice," Sue Dotten of Reno said of Monday's sunshine. Dotten was playing with her dog in a park downtown.

"I can look at (the snow) in the Sierras and that's what I want to do is look at it, I don't want to walk in it, shovel it, or anything else."

But while there's been a reprieve from significant snow so far this December, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it's also been very dry -- a typical sign of La Nina setting up.

"I think it's a little too early to be getting worried about water concerns, but if this were to be a pattern prolonged throughout the winter we might have something to worry about," David Myrick, Science Officer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said.

Forecasters said a La Nina typically means a wetter winter in the Northwest and drier in the Southwest. They said since Reno is located between those areas, it's difficult to predict the impact of a La Nina.

"It makes it a challenge for us to say one way or another," Myrick said.

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