It’s been a National Grid December in Upstate New York. Heating bills are up and short sleeves feel like a distant memory. First, we saw snow; now it’s the bitter cold that moved in with the Christmas Bomb Cyclone. It’s a long way from the La Niña winter we expected.

If it feels like the long, bone-chilling, expensive-to-heat nights are never going away, you’ll love this new prediction from The Weather Channel. It looks like relief is on the way in the new year. Here’s what warming we have in store when the calendar flips 2023.

Where’s The Warm La Niña Winter We Were Promised?

A map of how La Nina affects the US climate during winter.
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The Climate Prediction Center and Columbia University gave a 75% chance of an extended La Niña pattern. La Niña is driven by cold air from the northern Pacific around Alaska.

This “variable Polar Jet Stream” brings frigid air into Montana, the Dakotas, and Minnesota, but pulls up warmer, wetter air from the Gulf of Mexico into the South and East, including Upstate New York.

Weather Channel January 2023 Outlook
The Weather Channel
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The same polar vortex that gave us the Christmas Bomb Cyclone is still driving La Niña, and she’s running late, but she’s on her way. We’ll have a New Year’s Eve thaw, and then The Weather Channel’s meteorologists say that the second week of January will bring above average temperatures for all of New York during our coldest month.

What About An Early Spring?

Weather Channel February Outlook
The Weather Channel
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February’s outlook has cooled off a little for Upstate, with us toeing the line between average temperatures for the month. Some positive news and a little spoiler: look at how much warm air is being pulled up even as far north as Maryland – that’s La Niña. Does this mean early spring for New York?

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Weather Channel March 2023 Outlook
The Weather Channel
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It certainly looks that way. March predictions look well above average for not just Upstate, but the whole state of New York and the Northeast. Upstate’s average March high is around 45, so don’t be surprised if we spend most of the month in the 50s or even higher.

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