NOAA Reports U.S. Likely to Have Above-Average Winter Temperatures

La Niña Arrives, Southern Drought Concerns Intensify

October 9, 2007

Display of new storm-based warnings on National Weather Service radar.
U.S. Temperature Outlook, December 2007 - February 2008.

+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA forecasters are calling for above-average temperatures over most of the country and a continuation of drier-than-average conditions across already drought-stricken parts of the Southwest and Southeast in its winter outlook for the United States, announced at the 2007-2008 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference in Washington, D.C., today.

“La Niña is here, with a weak-to-moderate event likely to persist through the winter,” said Michael Halpert, head of forecast operations and acting deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The big concern this winter may be the persistence of drought across large parts of the already parched South. And while December through February is likely to be another milder-than-average winter for much of the country, people should still expect some bouts of winter weather.”

For the 2007-2008 U.S. winter, from December through February, NOAA seasonal forecasters predict:

La Niña Animation.
Sea surface temperatures, January 1, 2007 - October 3, 2007.

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U.S. Precipitation Outlook, December 2007 - February 2008.
U.S. Precipitation Outlook, December 2007 - February 2008.

+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

This winter is predicted to be warmer than the 30-year norm. For the country as a whole, NOAA's heating degree day forecast for December through February projects a 2.8 percent warmer winter than the 30-year normal, but a 1.3 percent cooler winter than last year.

The U.S. winter outlook is produced by a team of scientists at the Climate Prediction Center in association with NOAA-funded partners. Scientists base this forecast on long-term climate trends and a variety of forecast tools from statistical techniques to extremely complex dynamical ocean-atmosphere coupled models and composites. The outlook will be updated on Oct. 18 and again on Nov. 15 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

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