The winter outlook comes with great anticipation not only for students and teachers, but many businesses are affected by the weather. Some thrive and others are disrupted. This report is the first of a few winter outlooks that I want to share with you before publishing my personal winter outlook. Please keep in mind, this is not set in stone. Just one indication of what the next season could bring, or at least what direction it may lean in. While the indicators may not be clearly defined by NOAA, I want to point out that last year they were neutral for our region as well… and the winter was split from a very warm start to a cold second half. Late January did bring us our largest snowstorm on record, and that was not in the original expectation. So take this for what it is worth…
I will have more on the specifics of La Nina and winters in our local region in my next report.
orecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued the U.S. Winter Outlook today, saying that La Nina is expected to influence winter conditions this year. The Climate Prediction Center issued a La Nina watch this month, predicting the climate phenomenon is likely to develop in late fall or early winter. La Nina favors drier, warmer winters in the southern U.S and wetter, cooler conditions in the northern U.S. If La Nina conditions materialize, forecasters say it should be weak and potentially short-lived.
The 2016 U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February):
Wetter than normal conditions are most likely in the northern Rockies, around the Great Lakes, in Hawaii and in western Alaska
Drier than normal conditions are most likely across the entire southern U.S. and southern Alaska.
Warmer than normal conditions are most likely across the southern U.S., extending northward through the central Rockies, in Hawaii, in western and northern Alaska and in northern New England.
Cooler conditions are most likely across the northern tier from Montana to western Michigan.
- The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning that there is not a strong enough climate signal in these areas to shift the odds, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.
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