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Fall, winter likely to be warmer, drier than normal

NOAA seasonal outlook calls for above average temperatures across Texas
The new winter outlook from NOAA matches well with what is expected for the rest of fall for the Brazos Valley: Above average temperatures, and below average precipitation.
The new winter outlook from NOAA matches well with what is expected for the rest of fall for the Brazos Valley: Above average temperatures, and below average precipitation.(KBTX)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:34 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Due in large part to La Niña, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has called for above average temperatures through fall and winter for the southern US (including the Brazos Valley), and below average precipitation in the same areas.

“With La Nina well established and expected to persist through the upcoming 2020 winter season, we anticipate the typical, cooler, wetter North, and warmer, drier South, as the most likely outcome of winter weather that the U.S. will experience this year,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Simply put, La Niña occurs when equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean cool, often resulting in the polar jetstream retreating farther north through the winter. This often restricts larger winter systems from going deeper south in the winter months. While not always the case, fewer storm systems moving through the South often means fewer cold fronts and below average precipitation.

For the Brazos Valley, these types of winters often mean the same as the southern US, but that is not to say we won’t be prone to Arctic cold fronts and potential flooding. It just means we’re less likely to see these things on a consistent basis.

This same forecast calls for a cooler, wetter rest of fall and winter for northern portions of the US, as is typical with many La Niña winters.

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