NOAA Issues a Winter Weather Outlook

Cheryl Sanders
October 19, 2017

NOAA's Mike Halpert says the southern likely to be drier than normal, while the north from eastern Washington through the Great Lakes to upstate NY is likely to be wetter.

NOAA released their winter outlook saying La Nina will dictate a warmer and drier winter in Louisiana for a second year in a row, moving winter weather away from the southeastern U.S. State Climatologist Barry Keim says the weather could be setting up for a repeat of 2011.

"If La Niña conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter", Halpert said.

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.

Overall, prediction center forecasters are calling for a 55 percent to 65 percent chance for the development before winter of La Niña, which is a climate pattern that starts with cooler waters in the tropical Pacific.

The average winter temperature at Long Island MacArthur Airport is 33.1 degrees, with an average of 10.96 inches of precipitation, which includes melted snow, according to Jessica Spaccio, climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

Drought also could develop across scattered areas of the South, especially in regions that miss heavy rainfall from hurricane season.

The agency's winter outlook will be updated on November 16.

The last two years, winter saw above-average temperatures throughout the country, but some parts were still hit with major snowstorms.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center calls for colder than average temperatures across the Pacific Northwest in 2017-18.

"In the past, we have had variable La Niña winters that have provided wetter and drier winters locally, so there isn't as reliable an expectation", Boston 25 Meteorologist Shiri Spear explained. This year will feature much less snow and drier conditions overall, he expects.

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