NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has released their winter outlook for the coming season. Their outlook comes just weeks after the Climate Prediction Center issued a La Nina watch, so it’s no surprise that La Nina is expected to play a role in our winter weather this year.
NOAA currently reports a 55-65 percent chance of La Nina conditions developing before winter starts up. That means that the outlook for this winter is still changeable, depending on if a La Nina pattern emerges.
The current outlook seems to favor the occurrence of a La Nina, although NOAA notes in the outlook that they expect La Nina to be ‘weak and short-lived’ if it does develop. That coincides with a fairly warm and dry winter in the South.
Many other factors are considered in the outlook, including other global patterns, current drought conditions, and climatology. One factor considered that is more difficult to predict in advance is the Arctic Oscillation. This influences the reach of arctic air and can bring significant winter storms during otherwise quiet seasons.
Remember: It’s important to not take these outlooks as gospel. An outlook is meant to be used as guidance to help you prepare for the season ahead.
We still recommend checking the forecast regularly for more precise and localized weather information.