The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Climate Prediction Center (CPC) have issued their winter outlook for the 2023-2024 season. The outlook calls for an El Niño this winter, which will drive weather conditions through the upcoming winter months.
In a typical El Niño pattern, the Pacific jetstream is active across the southern half of the United States bringing wetter and colder conditions to the Southeast. Meanwhile, the northern half of the country typically experiences warmer and drier conditions during the winter months.
NOAA’s winter forecast for the months of December, January and February is favoring above-average temperatures across the northern tier of the United States. There is an equal chance of above or below-average temperatures occurring across much of the South. There’s a higher chance of above-average temperatures in the deeper reds across the Pacific Northwest and New England. However, keep in mind that this outlook is for the entire winter season. This area can still experience cold air outbreaks during winter.
When it comes to the rainfall outlook for this winter, NOAA’s forecast calls for above-average rainfall for the southern half of the country. Below-average rainfall is expected for states like Montana and Michigan and areas in the brown on the map above.
Looking closely at the maps, the Tennessee Valley has an equal chance of seeing either above or below-average precipitation. This means there’s no climate signal that is strong enough to sway one specific way.
The average high temperature between the winter months is 54.8 degrees, whereas the average low temperature is 35.1 degrees. The average temperature, factoring in the highs and lows, is 44.97 degrees. The average snowfall is 1.9 inches and the average rainfall is 15.97 inches.
We’re likely to see some severe storms and snow as we typically do during the winter months. With a warmer-than-average pattern, this may favor the risk of storms so make sure you’re staying with the Weather Authority for the very latest.