BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) -- When you think winter weather, the Brazos Valley is not necessarily the first place that comes to mind. That said, the area typically finds a few big fronts and wintry weather events each year.
The cool season is already off to an odd start. October wrapped up with an early chill, followed abruptly by a very unseasonably warm start to the month of November.
La Nina is expected to be the main driving force behind the long range forecast heading into the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. Cooler waters over the Equatorial Pacific have prompted NOAA to issue a 55% to 65% chance for La Nina to form before the end of the year.
La Nina for Texas & the Brazos Valley typically means a more mild and drier end of fall / winter is in store. This looks to be a weak La Nina pattern, but one that will impact the overall weather pattern for, at least, the next couple of months.
Here is the bottom line for the 2017 Winter Forecast here in the Brazos Valley:
• Warmer Than Average Temperatures: Average daytime highs are expected in the 60s with overnight lows in the 40s from December through February. This winter, the trend -- much like most of 2017 -- should be for thermometers to run a bit on the warm side. That means the area is more likely to find afternoon highs in the 70s and 80s. A few record highs will likely be tested at times over the next several months, along with record high minimums (warmest overnight lows).
• Lower Than Average Precipitation: Typically the winter months bring between 9" and 9.50" to Bryan / College Station and most of the Brazos Valley. This season, while there should be regular rounds of rain every week or two, the totals may not be quite as high as expected and hoped. The area will experience rain events, but by the start of spring, the expectation is for rain gauges to run a bit on the dry side.
• A Few Wild Swings: All of this said, the Brazos Valley is no stranger to stout, Arctic cold fronts and a few minor winter events. That should be the case again this year. Expect a few big fronts to swing through, bringing the occasional day or two of below average temperatures. By January, if the moisture and cold air can link up, a few events where minor ice accumulation causes travel issues cannot be ruled out.
Long range forecasts are tricky, especially with a clear cut La Nina pattern not guaranteed. With the signals being sent currently, expect to not need the heavy coats and winter gear quite as much this upcoming season.