This year’s winter forecast is out, and it looks like California’s record-breaking drought will continue to drag on — at least for the next few months. But for the rest of the country, the winter will be slightly milder than last year’s, during which we discovered what the term polar vortex means.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Climate Prediction Center released its annual Winter Outlook and updated its Seasonal Drought Outlook Thursday, predicting temperature and precipitation patterns from November through January. Unfortunately for the Golden State, NOAA expects that the drought will persist or intensify throughout much of the state over the next few months. The U.S. Drought Monitor already classifies 60 per cent of the state as an area of “exceptional drought.”
Other areas of the southern US will see an end, or at least an improvement, to drought conditions, as shown in NOAA’s graphic below.
The Climate Prediction Center expects warmer than average temperatures through January across much of the western US and in parts of New England. The southern US, on the other hand, is likely in for a colder-than-average winter — but, luckily, the Center said it doesn’t predict the extreme conditions suffered by just about everyone east of the Rocky Mountains last winter.
Check out NOAA’s map below to see how your state will make out. “Equal chances” means it could go either way. The numbers show how likely it is, according to their models, that temperatures will deviate from normal. For instance, in Maine has a 40% chance of winter being warmer than normal
The country’s southern states should invest in some rubber boots, regardless of the temperature: NOAA predicts above-average precipitation from the lower half of California all across the southern tier and up the eastern seaboard. The Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes regions can expect a much drier season.
The map below shows which states are in for a wetter winter than usual. Again, the numbers show how likely it is, according to their models, that precipitation will deviate from normal, so Florida has a 40% chance of being wetter than normal:
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