Kane County is likely to have a wetter winter — maybe even “well above normal” — according to the official National Weather Service outlook for the winter of 2017-18.
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released the U.S. Winter Outlook in October and updated them on Nov. 16, with La Nina emerging for the second year in a row as the biggest wildcard in how this year’s winter will shape up.
What does that mean for us here in Kane County? For the local area, the strongest signal for the upcoming winter is for above-normal precipitation and volatile temperatures.
Whether that precip is snow or rain remains to be seen. But as of the Nov. 16 update, snowfall is projected to be above average.
The seasonal snowfall amount is highly dependent on the track of individual storm systems and the air mass being sufficiently cold for snow when it does precipitate.
And the Climate Prediction Center outlook is giving even odds of the temperatures being below or above normal.
For the whole suite of CPC products, including seasonal outlooks, go to: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
“If La Nina conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Typical La Nina patterns during winter include above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the U.S. and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South.”
NOAA’s seasonal outlooks give the likelihood that temperature and precipitation will be above, near, or below average, and also how drought is expected to change, but do not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. While the last two winters featured above-average temperatures over much of the nation, significant snowstorms still impacted different parts of the country.
Nov. 16 Update