Climate Prediction Center Releases Its Thoughts On The Upcoming Winter

It felt like summer this past week. It will feel like fall (cause it actually is) this weekend and into the upcoming week, BUT


I’ve waited one year to use that meme again! The method to my talking about winter so soon madness is because the Climate Prediction Center issued its annual winter outlook on Thursday. Anyway we’ll break down the driving forces in the weather world over the next few months and break down the probabilities of it being warmer or colder or wetter or drier than normal.

La-Nina. Get yourself acquainted with the sister of El-Nino. The major El-Nino of last winter has left us and we are headed toward La-Nina.  Below is what La-Nina is in a nutshell.


In an El-Nino year we see an active sub-tropical jet stream (ribbon of fast moving air where the jet aircraft fly that resides in the tropics). This helps to deliver moisture to the SE United States and helps create those Nor’ Easters that originate in the south and often move through these parts eventually affecting New England.


— In a La-Nina year for the most part we lose the strong southern branch of the jet stream so those moisture carrying storms shouldn’t be as numerous. The northern tier of the country should be in for a “bigger” winter this year as the northern polar jet stream takes over. The precipitation outlook form the CPC coincides with that. The southern part of the country has a better chance to be on the drier side while the northern tier has a better chance of being wet. The lake effect snow machine could be cranked up as well.


While shots of Arctic air are possible through the winter (It is winter after all) overall the winter has a better chance to be above normal in the temperature department as a whole. Here are the probabilities given by the Climate Prediction Center The CPC is favoring a better shot at temperatures being above normal.


I’ll take it one step further and say I believe we’ll start out very warm for the first half of the winter with the better shot for colder air to invade in the latter winter months…late January through March.


***There could be several wild cards that take a bite out of this current outlook. We are expecting a very weak La-Nina so we aren’t expecting “typical” patterns to completely be locked in. We can most times see the development of an El-Nino or La-Nina a few months in advance, but there are several smaller oceanic oscillations that can have more of an impact during weak La-Nina or El-Nino years that can only be seen days or weeks in advance. I personally do believe overall we’ll see below normal snow and above average temperatures, but anything is possible when you’re talking about Mother Nature. We’ll keep you posted as the fall and eventually winter roll on. If we’re going to have a winter this year it’s probably going to come in those latter months.

Enjoy the changing leaves while we have them!

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