By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Winter weather is coming—or is it? La Niña conditions have developed and are expected to continue from December to February, according to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. There’s an 87% chance of La Niña in the same period.

The way in which these conditions could impact Northern California varies. The reason being that Sacramento, and the greater region, are in the middle of the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. It’s the reason why sometimes La Niña may bring wet weather and other times, normal to below-normal precipitation.

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“We’re just kind of caught in the middle of the jet streams and stuff that really pushed the weather or storm systems along,” said Cory Mueller, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

In forecasting, there are few guarantees. Although 10-day forecasts give the most accurate reading, according to Mueller, the further out the predictions, the less accurate they will be. Predicting whether or not the winter will be a wet one wouldn’t be viable at this point, it’s just too far out.

“Unfortunately for California, I know La Niña and El Niño have stronger signals in other parts of the country, such as the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. But unfortunately, here we’re caught in the middle and there really isn’t a strong signal, so it’s kind of wait and see what happens,” said Mueller.

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It will take more than one year to undo the effects of two dry winters back-to-back. One researcher with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) said people can do their part to conserve the water that is available.

“There’s always another drought coming, that’s the challenge, what should we be doing day in and day out,” said Dr. Geoffrey Schladow, founding director of TERC.

It’s too soon for experts to say when northern California will start seeing the effects of a potential La Niña. What they do know is that in this weather pattern there is wet weather in the Pacific Northwest and dry weather over Southern California.

“We’ve been in kind of a neutral phase of La Niña, and it’s expected to develop into La Niña throughout the winter with a good likelihood,” said Mueller.

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Right now, weather patterns are headed in the right direction, but we will have to wait and see.