NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their seasonal outlook today for the upcoming winter: they’re forecasting overall conditions will be warmer and wetter for large parts of the country. Although below-average temperatures are not favored, cold weather is anticipated and some areas could still experience a colder-than-average winter. Wetter-than-average weather is most likely across the Northern Tier of the U.S. during winter, which extends from December through February.
Highlights of the official outlook:
The greatest likelihood for warmer-than-normal conditions are in Alaska and Hawaii, with more modest probabilities for above-average temperatures spanning large parts of the remaining lower 48 from the West across the South and up the eastern seaboard.
The Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley, and the western Great Lakes have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures.
No part of the U.S. is favored to have below-average temperatures this winter.
- Wetter-than-average conditions are most likely in Alaska and Hawaii this winter, along with portions of the Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
- Drier-than-average conditions are most likely for Louisiana, parts of Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma as well areas of northern and central California.
- The remainder of the U.S. falls into the category of equal chances for below-, near-, or above-average precipitation.
NOAA’s seasonal outlooks provide the likelihood that temperatures and total precipitation amounts will be above-, near- or below-average, and how drought conditions are favored to change. The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations as snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance. Even during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are expected.
In addition to today’s seasonal outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, the National Weather Service in Honolulu, Hawaii also released their Wet Season outlook today. That forecast shows more rain and snow is expected in Hawaii in the coming months.