NOAA’s Annual Winter Outlook Issued!

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued their annual outlook for the upcoming winter season. According to NOAA, winter is “likely to offer little relief to the drought-stricken U.S. Southwest, and drought is likely to develop across parts of the Southeast as below-average precipitation is favored in these areas of the country.” Drought is an ongoing concern for parts of the Southwest and Texas for almost 3 years now. Although rains brought some relief over the past few months, NOAA says that drought is likely to redevelop during this winter.

Watch NOAA’s Winter outlook:

Sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific have been near average since spring 2012 and NOAA expects this trend to continue through the winter which means that neither El Niño nor La Niña is expected to influence the climate during the upcoming winter.

It’s a challenge to produce a long-term winter forecast without the climate pattern of an El Niño or a La Niña in place out in the Pacific because those climate patterns often strongly influence winter temperature and precipitation here in the United States,” said Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Without this strong seasonal influence, winter weather is often affected by short-term climate patterns, such as the Arctic Oscillation, that are not predictable beyond a week or two. So it’s important to pay attention to your local daily weather forecast throughout the winter.

Precipitation Outlook:

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

  • Below-average precipitation in the Southwest, Southeast and the Alaskan panhandle.
  • Above-average precipitation in the Northern Rockies, particularly over Montana and northern Wyoming and in Hawaii.


Temperature Outlook:

Credit: NOAA

Credit: NOAA

  • Below-average temperatures in the Northern Plains and the Alaskan Panhandle.
  • Above-average temperatures in the Southwest, the South-Central U.S., parts of the Southeast, New England and western Alaska.

The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning that there is not a strong or reliable enough climate signal in these areas to favor one category over the others, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation. Click here for more info on this outlook


Stay Safe. Know Before™.

The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team



This entry was posted in General, Winter.