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NOAA releases winter season outlook for US

Forecasters call for above-average temperatures for the Lone Star State
Typically, La Niña brings drier and warmer than average conditions to the south while cooler,...
Typically, La Niña brings drier and warmer than average conditions to the south while cooler, wetter weather is expected for the Northern US.(NOAA)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 10:10 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 10:47 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Citing a continuing La Niña winter, forecasters call for a greater than average probability for a “warmer than average” winter across a large portion of the United States, including the Brazos Valley.

In a press release issued Thursday, forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center use their tools to predict temperature and precipitation patterns, and how that may relate to improving or worsening drought.

Likewise, the forecast has a high probability of a “drier than average” winter across the Lone Star State, and southern portions of the US. This may mean worsening drought, especially across the Southwest, but potentially for us in Texas, too.

Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center call for a warmer and drier than average winter...
Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center call for a warmer and drier than average winter across the South, including Texas and the Brazos Valley.(KBTX)
Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center call for a warmer and drier than average winter...
Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center call for a warmer and drier than average winter across the South, including Texas and the Brazos Valley.(KBTX)

The forecast specifically calls for drought conditions to either develop or continue/worsen for the vast majority of the state of Texas.

“The nature of a probabilistic forecast means that other outcomes are possible, but not likely,” says Jon Gottschalck with the Climate Prediction Center.

A large part of the forecast includes what a “typical” La Niña winter brings. In such winters, we are still prone to cold snaps, slow storm systems that may cause flooding, and other uncharacteristic patterns, but the overall trend points to fewer events like these as we wrap up 2021 and move into 2022.

We asked Gottschalck whether there were any signals / ability to forecast a cold outbreak like early in 2021 (which was also, a La Niña winter). Essentially, such a cold outbreak is absolutely possible, but still difficult to forecast this far out.

In other words, another outbreak like this past winter is certainly possible, but not likely at this point.

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