Expect Warmer Than Average Weather This Winter
In their final three-month forecast of the year, meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center said this winter is likely to be warmer than the 30-year norm (1971-2000) over much of the nation, yet cooler than last year’s very warm winter season.
For December, January, and February, the federal government agency predicts a two percent warmer winter than the 30-year average, but about nine percent cooler than last year. NOAA says that on average this will be a milder than average winter across much of the North, with fewer Arctic air outbreaks,
Meanwhile, a strengthening El Nino event continues to develop in the equatorial Pacific and is likely to continue into spring 2007.
During moderate to strong El Nino episodes, according to NOAA meteorologists, the occurrence of extremely cold days, especially in the Northeast, becomes less likely. This current event is not expected to reach the magnitude of the strong 1997-98 event.
Overall, NOAA seasonal forecasters expect warmer than average temperatures across the Pacific Northwest, the northern and central plains, the Midwest, the Northeast, and northern mid-Atlantic, as well as most of Alaska during December 2006 through February 2007.
Near-average temperatures are favored for parts of the Southeast from Louisiana through North Carolina, while below-average temperatures are anticipated for Hawaii.
Parts of the mid-Atlantic, the Tennessee Valley, the Southwest from Texas to California, and the intermountain West have equal chances of warmer, cooler, and near-normal temperatures this winter.
The precipitation outlook calls for wetter than average conditions across the entire southern tier of the country from central and southern California across the Southwest to Texas and across the Gulf Coast to Florida and the south Atlantic Coast.
Drier-than-average conditions are forecast in the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, the northern Rockies, and Hawaii.
In 2007, NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation, starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson.