Winter Outlook for 2014-2015

NOAA just released its 2014-2015 Winter Outlook. What does this mean for Southeastern Wisconsin? In the following video, meteorologist Mike Halpert from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center breaks down the seasonal climate outlook for this upcoming winter.

Below average temperatures are favored in parts of the south-central and southeastern United States, while above-average temperatures are most likely in the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England.

Outlook Map Temperatures 2014F

Credit: NOAA

While drought may improve in some portions of the U.S. this winter, California’s record-setting drought will likely persist or intensify in large parts of the state.

The Precipitation Outlook favors above-average precipitation across the southern tier, from the southern half of California, across the Southwest, South-central, and Gulf Coast states, Florida, and along the eastern seaboard to Maine. Above-average precipitation also is favored in southern Alaska and the Alaskan panhandle. Below-average precipitation is favored in Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest.

Outlook Map Precipitation 214F

Credit: NOAA

Last year’s winter was exceptionally cold and snowy across most of the United States, east of the Rockies. A repeat of this extreme pattern is unlikely this year, although the Outlook does favor below-average temperatures in the south-central and southeastern states.

In addition, the Temperature Outlook favors warmer-than-average temperatures in the Western U.S., extending from the west coast through most of the inter-mountain west and across the U.S.-Canadian border through New York and New England, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, updated today and valid through January, predicts drought removal or improvement in portions of California, the Central and Southern Plains, the desert Southwest, and portions of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Drought is likely to persist or intensify in portions of California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state. New drought development is likely in northeast Oregon, eastern Washington state, and small portions of Idaho and western Montana.

This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

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