By Jean Pocha
of the Pathfinder 

El Niño pattern keeping winter at bay


January 4, 2024

Cathy Coughlin, Contributed

The full moon over the Blackfoot Valley illuminates snowbare dry fields.

Seeley Lake and the rest of western Montana has continued to see drier and warmer than average conditions, as mountain snow levels continue to stay below 65% of normal, according to the National Water and Climate Center.

"We're in a classic El Niño pattern this winter," said Meteorologist Luke Robinson of the Missoula National Weather office. "There are some indications that it might change in mid-January, bringing some snow and cooler temperatures."

The El Niño weather pattern is caused by warmer sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific. The change has brought multiple high press...

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