Thursday, October 15, 2009

Late Fall-Early Winter Outlook

Today, the Climate Prediction Center issued its long-range forecast for November through January, based primarily on the El Nino-Southern Oscillation trend.
Here's the Temperature Trend, where blue shades indicate cooler-than-average temperatures, and the orange shades warmer-than-average:

And the Precipitation Trend, where green shades indicate wetter-than-average conditions expected, and the tan shades indicate drier-than-average conditions:

The equatorial Pacific west of South America has been in El Nino conditions (meaning warmer-than-average ocean surface temperatures) for months now, and looks like it will continue through the North American winter months as well. This has meant in previous El Nino Winters that the Southeast tends to be a little cooler-than-average. Here is an example of a strong El Nino event occurring during Winter (January-March):

So based on this information, it appears that the Commonwealth can expect a cooler-than-average start to Winter this year, and when you combine that with precipitation...well, that can mean more winter weather precipitation events in our future! As mentioned in the previous blog entry, today just to our north, New York and Pennsylvania are getting a slightly early start on their winter weather season with a heavy wet snow falling today into Saturday. Could this be a sign of things to come for us as those colder temperatures creep farther South over the next month? We'll be keeping you ahead of the storm.

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