U.S. Winter Outlook: La Nina returns to disappoint snow lovers

Weather

FILE – Amber Cox shovels snow from the porch roof at her home in Auburn, Maine, on March 8, 2018. With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 it expects households to see jumps of up to 54% for their heating bills compared to last winter. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal via AP)

(NOAA) – Above-average temperatures are favored across the South and most of the eastern U.S. as La Nina climate conditions have emerged for the second winter in a row according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center — a division of the National Weather Service. In NOAA’s 2021 Winter Outlook — which extends from December 2021 through February 2022 — wetter-than-average conditions are anticipated across portions of the Northern U.S., primarily in the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and western Alaska.

“Using the most up-to-date observing technologies and computer models, our dedicated forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center produce timely and accurate seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for the months ahead,” said Michael Farrar, Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

NOAA experts also continue to monitor the widespread, ongoing drought that has persisted across much of the western half of the U.S. since late last year, keeping a close eye on the Southwest region.

“Consistent with typical La Nina conditions during winter months, we anticipate below-normal temperatures along portions of the northern tier of the U.S. while much of the South experiences above-normal temperatures,” said Jon Gottschalck, chief, Operational Prediction Branch, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The Southwest will certainly remain a region of concern as we anticipate below-normal precipitation where drought conditions continue in most areas.”

Temperature

  • Warmer-than-average conditions are most likely across the Southern tier of the U.S. and much of the Eastern U.S. with the greatest likelihood of above-average temperatures in the Southeast.
  • Below-average temperatures are favored for southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest eastward to the northern Plains.
  • The Upper Mississippi Valley and small areas of the Great Lakes have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures.

Precipitation

  • The Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, Great Lakes and parts of the Ohio Valley and western Alaska have the greatest chances for wetter-than-average conditions.
  • Drier-than-average conditions are favored in south-central Alaska, southern California, the Southwest, and the Southeast.
  • The forecast for the remainder of the U.S. shows equal chances for below-, near- or above-average precipitation during winter months.

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