It is always an exciting time of year when meteorological organizations start issuing their winter outlooks, often conflicting with one another and even themselves.
This week both AccuWeather and NOAA released their Winter Outlooks. As is typically the case, NOAA’s outlook is far more conservative with any bold predictions (much of the country, according to them, will see equal chances for near-normal, colder than normal, and warmer than normal temperatures), while the AccuWeather’s outlook is a bit more descriptive for most regions.
NOAA’s Winter Outlook
NOAA has put out an outlook that features a warm west western US and a cool South. The outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center will not come as welcome news for those in the west hoping for a real winter. For Dec-Feb NOAA has greater than 50% chances for warmer than normal temperatures across the west, with equal chance for much of the middle of the country (including Colorado), and greatest odds for below normal temperatures across the South.
As for precipitation, Colorado is again under the equal chances category -- with the exception of extreme southern Colorado which is included in the >33% chance for above normal precipitation (looks very Nino).
AccuWeather Winter Outlook The outlook from AccuWeather is in many ways very similar, and looks highly based on climatology. They too are predicting a mild and dry Northwest and wet South. Their outlook, however, includes “snowy periods” for much of Colorado (that’s the case every winter I think), and a good area of “cold” across the middle of the country (anyone remember last winter?). In fact, their outlook specifically calls for a return of the Polar Vortex by January and February.
Brian will be discussing our latest thoughts on the long-range outlook at tonight’s meetup; we look forward to seeing you there!