Friday, November 21, 2008

Seasonal Update: Winter 2008-2009 Weather Forecast

The Winter 2009-2010 outlook is here.
Other seasonal forecasts, including the current winter energy forecast, are also available.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center announced today the official outlook for meteorological winter (December-January-February). With the expected absence of any strong El Niño/La Niña effects from Pacific Ocean temperatures, conditions are likely to be variable. Temperatures, however, are forecast to be near or above normal everywhere in the continental U.S. Precipitation is forecast to be higher than normal in parts of the central Plains, and drier conditions are likely in the Southeast, Gulf Coast, and portions of the Southwest.

Near equal chances of cooler or warmer than normal temperatures are forecast for the Northeast and Mid Atlantic areas. Near equal chances of wetter or drier than normal precipitation amounts are also predicted, although central and southern Virginia and the Maryland and Virginia Eastern Shore are expected to be drier than normal.

In contrast to many media outlets and web sites which hype their winter snow outlooks to increase their broadcast ratings or page views, NOAA recognizes that there is absolutely no scientific basis for such predictions:
"Snow forecasts are heavily dependent upon winter storms and are generally not predictable more than several days in advance."
One broadcaster's view of the winter outlook for the Washington, DC region:

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Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.