The calendar reads October, but there are signs that winter is right around the corner! Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center have officially issued the U.S. Winter Outlook this past week, valid for the months of December, January and February. Forecasters are predicting that a weak La Niña could form in late fall/early winter.
Winter precipitation is expected to be higher across the northern Rockies, Great Lakes, Hawaii, and western Alaska. Conditions in these areas are expected to be wetter than normal. For the southeastern United States and southern Alaska, conditions are expected to be drier than normal. The rest of the United States is expected to fall within the equal chance category. This means that the climate signal for the rest of the country isn’t strong enough to determine if precipitation will be above or below normal.
Winter temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal for much of the southern United States across the northern Rockies. Hawaii, northern and western Alaska, and northern New England are also forecasted to experience above average temperatures. Cooler temperatures are likely to occur from Montana into western Michigan. Like the precipitation outlook, the rest of the country is expected to fall within the equal chance category, which means there is an equal chance for above, near, or below average temperatures.
To learn more about other regional climate topics, be sure to click here!