NOAA Still Sees Above Average Temperatures for Most of the U.S. and Below Normal Precipitation Across the South

Agency Issues Final U.S. Winter Outlook for the 2007-08 Season

November 15, 2007

Winter temperature outlook.
Winter temperature outlook.

+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

In the final forecast update to the U.S. winter outlook, NOAA Climate Prediction Center forecasters remain confident in predicting above average temperatures for much of the country – including southern sections of the Northeast – and below normal precipitation for the southern tier of the nation. Above average precipitation is still anticipated for the Pacific Northwest, and in the Great Lakes and Tennessee Valley.

“La Niña strengthened during October, making it even more likely that the United States will see below-average precipitation in the already drought-stricken regions of the Southwest and the Southeast this winter,” said Michael Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “Recent sea surface temperatures indicate we have moderate La Niña conditions in place over the equatorial Pacific which we expect to continue into early 2008.”

On average, for December 2007 through February 2008, NOAA seasonal forecasters predict:

Winter precipitation outlook.

+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

For the country as a whole, NOAA's heating degree day forecast for December through February projects a 4.0 percent warmer winter than the 30-year normal, which is very similar to last winter.

“Although we are expecting a warmer than normal winter, we do believe there will be fluctuations of warm weather and typical winter weather throughout the season,” said Edward O’Lenic, chief, forecast operations, NOAA Climate Prediction Center. “We encourage people to review winter weather risks for their particular area and information available online to help keep them safe when events do occur.”

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.

NOAA will announce the U.S. Spring Outlook in March 2008.

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