U.S. Winter outlook predicts warmer, drier South and cooler, wetter North
Forecasters 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.
La Nina favors drier, warmer winters in the southern U.S and wetter, cooler conditions in the northern U.S.
"This climate outlook provides the most likely outcome for the upcoming winter season, but it also provides the public with a good reminder that winter is just up ahead and it’s a good time to prepare for typical winter hazards, such as extreme cold and snowstorms," said Mike Halpert, deputy director, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
"Regardless of the outlook, there is always some chance for extreme winter weather, so prepare now for what might come later this winter."
Other factors that often play a role in the winter weather include the Arctic Oscillation, which influences the number of arctic air masses that penetrate into the South and create nor’easters on the East Coast, and the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which can affect the number of heavy rain events in the Pacific Northwest.
The 2016 U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February): Precipitation 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.
Temperature 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.
Drought improvement is anticipated in northern California, the northern Rockies, the northern Plains and parts of the Ohio Valley.
Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.