British Columbia

La Niña in the forecast after El Niño begins to fade

As the strongest El Niño in 20 years winds down, new evidence suggests La Niña is on its way.

Climatologist says B.C. should prepare for a colder and snowier winter than last year

The chance of a La Nina in 2016 has increased to 50 per cent, say climatologists.

As the strongest El Niño in nearly 20 years winds down, new evidence suggests that the weather system's ugly sister, La Niña, is rearing its head, according to climatologists. 

Australian and American metrologists have announced there is now a 50 per cent likelihood La Niña will occur in the Pacific Ocean in 2016.

La Niña is the opposite of El Niño, which is characterized by warm waters in the tropical Pacific. La Niña brings with it unusually cool ocean temperatures.

"The winds blow from a different direction. They blow from the eastern Pacific to the western Pacific, they take all that warm water with them and exposes the upwell cold water," said Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada.

La Niña, however, might be less damaging than El Niño, which has been linked to serious crop damage, forest fires and flash floods. 

Colder winter in B.C. 

Phillips says in general, La Niña will bring a colder than normal winter. 

In B.C., he says there is a high probability that we can expect a more frigid winter. 

"A little cooler, a little bit more snow even on the streets of Vancouver," he said. 

This — after the province went through one of the warmest winters on record, he said.

The colder weather could mean good news for skiing and commercial fishing next winter.