If you don’t remember what the weather was like last winter, we don’t blame you. Most of us are trying to forget the brutally cold temperatures that lingered over much of the country. In other parts of the U.S. that were spared the cold, severe drought was common.
Will there be any relief this winter? The short answer is that it depends on the region of the country. According to the majority of weather forecasting models, a weak but persistent El Niño is expected to develop in the late fall and continue through the winter and into next spring, and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) circulation pattern will result in more negative events. These factors will combine to position the jet streams in a way that will likely bring cold temperatures to most regions east of the Rockies.
We’re predicting that the southern U.S. will experience below-normal temperatures this winter thanks to the northern jet stream that will drive cold Arctic air deep into the country. The Central Rockies, Midwest and Ohio Valley will also see below-normal temperatures, though likely not as far below normal as the South.
The Upper Midwest, Southeast and Eastern Seaboard will see above-normal precipitation. The Southeast and East Coast are particularly at risk for big winter storms because the position of the southern jet stream increases the risk of stronger storms developing over the Gulf of Mexico and traveling up the coast. We believe the Northwest and the Tennessee Valley will experience below normal precipation amounts. Unfortunately, the drought will likely intensify in northern California, Oregon and Nevada, but the southern jet stream will help bring some relief to conditions in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Although we’re not predicting quite the intensity and persistence of the cold temperatures that we saw last year, this winter won’t be a walk in the park for most of us. Remember what it was like last year and don’t forget to bundle up, make sure you have a shovel and prepare for those heating bills.
We invite you to click for a free replay of our recent Winter Weather Outlook.