NOAA releases 2017-18 winter outlook for the United States

2017-18 Winter Outlook map for precipitation (NOAA)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released the U.S. Winter Outlook Thursday.

The federal forecasters say this winter may be colder and wetter in parts of Northern U.S. while staying warmer and drier in much of the south.

They also said that there is a 55 to 65 percent chance of La Nina developing before winter sets in.

“If La Nina conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Typical La Nina patterns during winter include above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the U.S. and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South.”

The 2017 U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February):

Precipitation

  • Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across most of the northern United States, extending from the northern Rockies, to the eastern Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, in Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.
  • Drier-than-normal conditions are most likely across the entire southern U.S.
2017-18 Winter Outlook map for precipitation (NOAA)

Temperature

  • Warmer-than-normal conditions are most likely across the southern two-thirds of the continental U.S., along the East Coast, across Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.
  • Below-average temperatures are favored along the Northern Tier of the country from Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest and in southeastern Alaska.
  • The rest of the country falls into the equal chance category, which means they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation because there is not a strong enough climate signal in these areas to shift the odds.
2017-18 Winter Outlook map for temperature (NOAA)

Drought

  • Despite the outlook favoring above-average precipitation this winter, drought is likely to persist in parts of the northern Plains, although improvement is anticipated farther West
  • .Elsewhere, drought could develop across scattered areas of the South, mainly in regions that missed the rainfall associated with the active 2017 hurricane season.

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