NOAA released their annual Winter Outlook on November 21, 2013. According to NOAA, this winter will be warmer than normal in New England with equal chance of above or below normal precipitation. NOAA cautions that there are no strong climate patterns, particularly an El Niño or a La Niña, in place which can have a strong influence on the precipitation and temperature patterns in the United States. Instead, NOAA points to the shorter-term patterns like Arctic Oscillation as the major influencers of this winter’s weather. In most cases, those patterns are not predictable more than a week or two in advance. NOAA is highlighting the potential for persisting and developing drought in the Southwest and Southeast as the biggest weather story of the winter.
The Precipitation Outlook favors:
- Below-average precipitation in the Southwest, Southeast and the Alaskan panhandle.
- Above-average precipitation in the Northern Rockies, particularly over Montana and northern Wyoming and in Hawaii.
The Temperature Outlook favors:
- Below-average temperatures in the Northern Plains and the Alaskan Panhandle.
- Above-average temperatures in the Southwest, the South-Central U.S., parts of the Southeast, New England and western Alaska.