Below average temperatures are expected in parts of the south-central and southeastern U.S., while above-average temperatures are most likely in the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England, according to the U.S. Winter Outlook, issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Last year’s winter was exceptionally cold and snowy across most of the U.S., east of the Rockies. A repeat of this extreme pattern is unlikely this year, although the Outlook does favor below-average temperatures in the south-central and southeastern states.
The Temperature Outlook favors warmer-than-average temperatures in the Western U.S., extending from the west coast through most of the inter-mountain west and across the U.S.-Canadian border through New York and New England, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.
The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning that there is not a strong enough climate signal for these areas to make a prediction, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.
The Precipitation Outlook favors above-average precipitation across the southern tier, from the southern half of California, across the Southwest, South-central, and Gulf Coast states, Florida, and along the eastern seaboard to Maine. Above-average precipitation also is favored in southern Alaska and the Alaskan panhandle. Below-average precipitation is favored in Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest.
While drought may improve in some portions of the U.S. this winter, California’s record-setting drought will likely persist or intensify in large parts of the state. Drought is expected to improve in California’s southern and northwestern regions, but improvement is not expected until December or January.