A mild winter could be in store for Kane County and much of the United States this winter, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
In the U.S. Winter Outlook for December through February shows above-average temperatures are most likely across the northern and western U.S..
Additionally, El Nino has a 70 percent to 75 percent chance of developing.
“We expect El Nino to be in place in late fall to early winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Although a weak El Nino is expected, it may still influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North.”
El Nino is an ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that is linked to periodic warming in sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. During the winter, typical El Nino conditions in the U.S. can include wetter-than-average precipitation in the South and drier conditions in parts of the North.
Other climate patterns that can affect winter weather are challenging to predict on a seasonal time scale. The Arctic Oscillation influences the number of arctic air masses that penetrate into the South and could result in below-average temperatures in the eastern part of the U.S. The Madden-Julian Oscillation can contribute to heavy precipitation events along the West Coast – which could play a large role in shaping the upcoming winter, especially if El Nino is weak, as forecasters predict.
The 2018 U.S. Winter Outlook
(December through February):
- Warmer-than-normal conditions are anticipated across much of the northern and western U.S., with the greatest likelihood in Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains.
- The Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures.
- No part of the U.S. is favored to have below-average temperatures.
- Kane County is in that swath of slightly warmer temps.
- Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across the southern tier of the U.S., and up into the Mid-Atlantic. Northern Florida and southern Georgia have the greatest odds for above-average precipitation this winter.
- Drier-than-average conditions are most likely in parts of the northern Rockies and Northern Plains, as well as in the Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley.
- Kane County is right on the edge of the “drier than normal” side.
- Drought conditions are likely to persist across portions of the Southwest, Southern California, the central Great Basin, central Rockies, Northern Plains and portions of the interior Pacific Northwest.
- Drought conditions are anticipated to improve in areas throughout Arizona and New Mexico, southern sections of Utah and Colorado, the coastal Pacific Northwest and the Central Plains.
About The Seasonal Outlook
NOAA’s seasonal outlooks give the likelihood that temperatures and precipitation will be above-, near- or below-average, and how drought conditions are expected to change, but the outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations.
Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance. Even during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are still likely to occur.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook each month. The next update will be available on Nov. 15.
NOAA produces seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for what is likely to come in the next few months and minimize weather’s impacts on lives and livelihoods.
SOURCE: NOAA news release
We often berate weather forecasters for getting it wrong, but we don’t often enough acknowledge when they get it right.
That’s especially true for long-range forecasts, which can be iffy at best.
But for the 2017-18 winter outlook, NOAA got it mostly right.
A year ago, NOAA predicted the Kane County area would see a wet winter with volatile temperatures. Skeptics might argue that you can say that about every winter, but a year ago, it was pretty much true.
Here’s a look at some of the links we posted on Kane County Connects during that 2017-18 season:
- NWS Chicago: Temperatures Plummet, Bitter Cold Front Starts Tuesday, Dec. 5
- Season’s First Widespread Snowfall Could Be Friday Night to Saturday (Dec. 8)
- Weather Alert: Dangerous Driving Conditions As 5.5 Million Illinoisans Head Out For Holiday Travel (Dec. 21)
- Wind Chill Advisory: Warming Centers Open Throughout Kane County (Dec. 27)
- Wind Chill Advisory In Effect Until Noon Tuesday (Jan. 1)
- .08 Inches of Freezing Rain Follows Record Cold Stretch — But Temps Could Hit 50 on Thursday (Jan. 8)
- UPDATE: 10 More Inches of Snow? Winter Storm Warning Set For Thursday, Friday (Feb. 7)
- Feb. 9 Heavy Snow UPDATE: What’s Closed, What’s Open, What You Need To Know
- INFO GRAPHIC: The ‘Why’ Behind the Warmth in Kane County (Feb. 21)