at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued the U.S. Winter Outlook last
month, saying that La Niņa is expected to influence winter conditions
Climate Prediction Center issued a La Niņa watch this month, predicting
that the climate phenomenon is likely to develop in late fall or early
winter. La Niņa favors drier, warmer winters in the southern U.S and
wetter, cooler conditions in the northern U.S.
If the La Niņa materializes, forecasters say it should be weak and potentially short-lived.
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.”
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 northeasters 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):
- 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.
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.
rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning
that there is not a strong enough climate signal in these areas to
shift the odds, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or
below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.
will likely persist through the winter in many regions currently
experiencing drought, including much of California and the Southwest
- Drought is expected to persist and spread in the southeastern U.S. and develop in the southern Plains.
- New England will see a mixed bag, with improvement in the western parts and persistence to the east.
improvement is anticipated in northern California, the northern
Rockies, the northern Plains and parts of the Ohio Valley.
to this forecast, the Outer Banks would see a 33 percent chance of a
warmer winter and a 33 percent chance of a drier winter.
seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or
provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are
dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are
generally not predictable more than a week in advance. However,
La Niņa winters tend to favor above average snowfall around the Great
Lakes and in the northern Rockies and below average snowfall in the
produces seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for what's
likely to come in the next few months and minimize weather's impacts on
lives and livelihoods.
A video of NOAA's 2016 winter outlook is available here.