FEBRUARY OUTLOOK BRINGS ON THE CHILL
Feb. 1, 2007 — Following an overall mild December and most of January, the current chill over much of the U.S. will persist through early February, according to seasonal forecasters at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. Below-normal temperatures are expected to dominate the central and eastern part of the country through early February with more moderate temperatures projected for the final weeks of the winter season. Climatologically, winter is comprised of the months of December, January and February. (Click NOAA image for larger view of February 2007 temperature outlook. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)
"This winter got off to a very warm start, but it is ending with more seasonable temperatures and precipitation over most of the U.S.," said Mike Halpert, meteorologist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. Last November, NOAA's winter outlook called for warmer-than-normal temperatures, although cooler than last year's very warm winter season. "With one month to go in the season, that forecast is shaping up quite well." (Click NOAA image for larger view of February 2007 precipitation outlook. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)
NOAA's temperature outlook for February favors above-normal temperatures over much of the West, northern Plains and much of Alaska with near-average temperatures in the Southeast, and below-average temperatures in parts of the Midwest, Northeast and mid-Atlantic. February temperatures in the western Great Lakes, southern mid-Atlantic, Tennessee Valley, Southwest and Hawaii have equal chances for being above-, near- or below-average.
Precipitation during February is expected to be above average throughout much of the southern U. S. from California to Florida and the south Atlantic Coast, and in southern Alaska and below median in the Missouri Valley, the western Great Lakes, the Alaskan Panhandle, much of Washington state and Hawaii. Equal chances of above-, near-, or below median precipitation is anticipated elsewhere. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Eastern Pacific Ocean taken Dec. 13, 2006, when El Niño was at its peak. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Meanwhile in the tropical Pacific Ocean, El Niño conditions are weakening as water temperatures have trended towards normal during recent weeks. "Any El Niño-related effects over North America should be minimal during the remainder of the winter season," said Vernon Kousky, research meteorologist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. "A return to neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific is expected this spring."
NOAA forecasters caution everyone to keep safe this season. Cooler temperatures combined with above-normal precipitation can often mean a wintry mix of sleet, snow and freezing rain. The NOAA National Weather Service has a wealth of weather safety information, including news and information, online to help keep you ahead of the winter storm. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Eastern Pacific Ocean taken Jan. 30, 2007, showing a weakening El Niño. Please credit “NOAA.”)
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