EUGENE, Ore. -- This winter is expected to be abnormally cold and wet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The average rainfall the Willamette Valley gets during meteorological winter -- the months of December, January and February -- is between 15 and 20 inches with average high temperatures in the upper 40s. This winter, we are likely to see slightly cooler temperatures and a bit more rainfall.
It's all due to the ongoing La Niña phenomenon across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. La Niña is when there is colder-than-average sea-surface temperatures off the west coast of South America. This colder ocean water can change weather patterns and favors heavy rain in western Oregon.
"We should be in an active pattern and seeing frequent and heavy precipitation," said meteorologist Andy Bryant, who works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
With colder temperatures this winter, we are expecting a lower snow level. This means more snow in the Cascades and possibly snow making its way into the foothills.