NOAA Predicts Warmer Winter for U.S., Droughts to Persist in the South
Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) are predicting above-average temperatures over most of the
country and a continuation of drier-than-average conditions across
already drought-stricken parts of the Southwest and Southeast.
These forecasts were made in NOAA's winter outlook for the United
States, announced on Oct. 9 at the 2007-2008 Winter Fuels Outlook
Conference in Washington, D.C.
"La Niña is here, with a weak-to-moderate event likely to persist
through the winter," said Michael Halpert, head of forecast operations
and acting deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "While
December through February is likely to be another milder-than-average
winter for much of the country, people should still expect some bouts
of winter weather."
For the 2007 to 2008 U.S. winter, from December through February, NOAA seasonal forecasters predict:
- In the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic, temperatures are
expected to be above average in response to the long-term warming
trend. Snowfall for the region will depend on other climate factors,
which are difficult to anticipate more than one-to-two weeks in advance.
- The drought-plagued Southeast is likely to remain
drier-than-average due to La Niña, while temperatures are expected to
be above average.
- In the Great Lakes and Tennessee Valley, temperatures and precipitation should be above average.
- The south-central Plains should see drier-than-average conditions
and warmer-than-average temperatures. Above-average temperatures are
also expected in the central Plains. The northern Plains could see a
range from above-average to below-average temperature and
- The Northwest also could see above-average to below-average
temperatures. Precipitation should be above average in much of the
region due to La Niña.
- Drought conditions are expected to persist in the Southwest due to La Niña, and temperatures are likely to be above average.
- Northern Alaska is expected to have milder-than-average temperature
and precipitation, while the rest of Alaska could see a range from
above-average to below-average temperatures and precipitation. In
Hawaii, temperatures and precipitation are expected to be above average.