State and city agencies are calling on Oregonians to prepare for a wet winter.

The National Weather Service says we're in the second year of a La Niña cycle.

La Niña means unusually cold ocean temperatures.

According to the NOAA website, La Niña is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, unlike El Niño which is associated with warmer than normal water.

In the Pacific Northwest, that translates to lots of precipitation. So this winter is likely to be much like last winter, with deep snow in the Cascades and possible flooding in the Spring. What's not clear is whether some of that precipitation will fall as snow in the Willamette Valley.

But either way, officials are asking people to get prepared -- by putting chains in their cars, along with a snow shovel and de-icing granules. Suzanne Kahn of the Portland Bureau of Transportation also wants people to be ready for the fall.

"If you see the catch basin in your neighborhood plugged. It would be great if you could just take a rake or a shovel and just scrape the leaves or debris off the top," Kahn said.

Clearing the leaves off those storm grates can drain high water from neighborhood streets. Cities like Portland are already stockpiling sandbags in areas that are susceptible to flooding.

On the Web

NOAA La Niña page

What is La Niña?