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NOAA's FEBRUARY OUTLOOK BRINGS ON THE CHILL
Weakening El Niño To Exert Little Influence

NOAA image of February 2007 temperature outlook.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.”)

NOAA image of February 2007 precipitation outlook."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.”)

News Audio (mp3), NOAA Weather Building, Camp Springs, Md.
Click image for Dr. Louis W. Uccellini biography.Louis W. Uccellini (oo-cheh-lee-nee), director of the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the NOAA National Weather Service, said El Niño is collapsing and the USA can expect winter weather the next two to three weeks. 1:45
Uccellini said El Niño is collapsing. :16
Uccellini said so far this year has not been a typical El Niño winter. :15

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.

NOAA satellite image of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Eastern Pacific Ocean taken Dec. 13, 2006, when El Niño was at its peak.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 satellite image of sea surface temperature anomalies in the Eastern Pacific Ocean taken Jan. 30, 2007, showing a weakening El Niño.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.”)

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAAWatch: Storms & Hazards

NOAA Climate Prediction Center

NOAA El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion

NOAA Weather Safety

NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center

NOAA Weather Portal

NOAA Issues Final Forecast for 2006-2007 U.S. Winter Season; December, January, February Forecast Still On Track

Media Contact:
Carmeyia Gillis, NOAA Climate Prediction Center, (301) 763-8000 ext. 7163
(Sea surface temperature images were generated using GODAE High Resolution SST data (UK Met Office OSTIA and AVHRR Pathfinder) at the NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center.)