The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their latest outlook for winter (December, January, February) 2012-2013 in the United States. The outlook has much of the Eastern U.S., including New England, in equal chances of warmer or colder than normal weather for the three months beginning on December 1. Only Florida has an above normal chance of colder than normal weather. The winter is shaping up to be warmer than normal from the Plains through the Rockies.
The precipitation outlook is also somewhat vague for most of the country, including New England. Once again, there are equal chances of wetter or drier than normal weather in the Northeast. There are above normal chances of wet weather along the Gulf Coast, and the Upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest are forecast to be drier than normal.
Stalling El Niño makes for a tricky forecast
The outlook looks like an “El Niño light” forecast because NOAA is not sure what is going to happen with an El Niño that was developing but has stalled in the past month. Typically, in strong El Niño winters the jet stream is strong coming through Mexico into the Southern United States. As a result, the Gulf Coast and Florida are usually wetter/cooler than normal. Since this El Niño is fairly weak, NOAA is unsure about how dominant that southern branch of the jet stream will be. So, the outlook is one that hints at an El Niño winter for the United States, but to a lesser degree than we would have seen if the current developing El Niño hadn’t stalled. Most computer models are indicating a weak El Niño for this winter.
The Right Weather Winter Outlook for 2012-2013 will be available by the end of November. The full outlook is only available to Right Weather Pro members. For a look at the benefits of becoming a Right Weather Pro subscriber for just $39.99/year, follow this link:
Historically, NOAA winter outlook about 20-30 percent better than random guess: http://t.co/4Q3j9Qfi
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) October 18, 2012