Winter Outlook for 2011-2012
Videos, Fri, Dec 2nd, 2011
What’s in store for the U.S. this winter? Odds favor cooler, wetter than average conditions in the North and West, and warmer and drier conditions in the South.
CPC has updated its winter outlooks of the forecast for the months of December, January and February. And the winter outlook for this winter favors above average temperatures across much of the South, from New Mexico across the Southeast to the Atlantic coast… and also favors below average temperatures across much of the Northern plain, the Northern Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, and a good part of the West as well as the southern half of Alaska.
With regards to precipitation, we see those areas most likely to experience below-average precipitation across the South– in particular Florida and Texas– with a better than even chance of being wetter than average across much of the North– particularly from the Ohio valley and the Northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest.
On a particular climate forecast map, what we show in terms of colors is the most likely forecast, or the most likely category, in a three-class system. At every location, though, there are three possible outcomes. If we look just at the precipitation forecast, precipitation can either be below average, near average, or above average.
For additional information on the winter outlook for 2011-2012, see the featured image Winter Outlook for 2011-2012.
Spring 2013 has brought something fairly unusual in recent years—colder-than-average temperature for the nation as a whole. NOAA’s Deke Arndt talks about how spring temperatures in three U.S. climate divisions compare to the local long-term trend.
During late winter, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas received sorely needed rain which helped reduce short-term impacts, like wildfire and dry topsoil. But it has taken months to develop deep and severe drought in the region, and a few wet weeks won’t erase that situation. It can take months of ideal conditions to bring soil, rivers, and vegetation back to health.
On any given day or any given month, somebody somewhere experiences colder-than-average temperature, even though the globe as a whole is warmer than average. We know this through climate monitoring, which entails measuring temperature on land and across the ocean.