NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — To forecast what kind of winter we can expect across the Mid-State we have to start with the Pacific ocean. Specifically, the temperature of the ocean water near the equator. For the second year in a row, La Nina conditions are in place and are forecast to remain in place through early Spring of 2022.
La Nina is a climate pattern signified by cooler than normal water along the equatorial Pacific. This climate pattern causes a shift in the jet stream that can have big impacts on what kind of weather we see here in Middle Tennessee. During a La Nina winter the jet stream is pushed farther north over the Pacific Northwest, and it doesn't dive as far south across the Southeast. This tends to create warmer and wetter conditions for Tennessee which doesn't bode well for snow lovers.
While a warmer than normal winter is expected it doesn't mean we can't get some potent cold snaps. Last year was also a La Nina winter and we got a brutal blast of cold, ice, and snow in February that shut the city down for nearly a week.