Cold Spring for Coastal San Diego?

The groundhog’s predictions for winter was right -- at least for coastal California.

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    Beth Johnson

    While the rest of the country seems to be heating up, coastal areas of California might be in for a chilly spring.

    The Experimental Climate Prediction Center at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is forecasting that cool, La Nina conditions could possibly last until May.

    It might sound strange for sunny SoCal to experience substantially colder weather – especially since the rest of the country is currently enduring quite the heat wave for winter.

    This isn’t a new trend, however. NASA recently released a map that shows that even though the rest of the U.S. has been experiencing warmer temperatures the last few years, the West Coast has stayed pretty cool because of La Nina conditions.

    In fact, 2011 was the ninth-warmest year on record -- just not for California. Especially since there was more rainy weather for the West Coast last spring.

    Dan Cayan, the program director at California Nevada Applications Program / California Climate Change Center, said he’s skeptical it a cool spring is definitive.

    “It’s been pretty dry,” he said. “Time will tell.”

    He said La Nina is product of a high pressure system that has resided off the coast. Although it has warded off storm activity, it has driven cool air along coastal areas.

    “It’s kept the coastal temperatures relatively cool,” Cayan said.

    Meaning the groundhog’s predictions for winter was right -- at least for coastal California.

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