The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its U.S. winter outlook, which forecasts cooler and wetter weather in southern-tier states and above-average temperatures in the West and across the northern tier. According to NOAA, El Niño is expected to influence weather and climate patterns this winter by impacting the position of the Pacific jet stream.
From December through February, the outlook predicts wetter-than-average conditions in the southern tier of the U.S., from central and southern California, across Texas, to Florida, and up the East Coast to southern New England. It forecasts drier-than-average conditions for Hawaii, central and western Alaska, parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, and for areas near the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.
The outlook says to expect above-average temperatures across much of the West and the northern half of the U.S., as well as below-average temperatures in the southern Plains and Southwest.
“A strong El Niño is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter,” says Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “While temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are favored, El Niño is not the only player. Cold-air outbreaks and snowstorms will likely occur at times this winter. However, the frequency, number and intensity of these events cannot be predicted on a seasonal timescale.”
The seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations.