NOAA releases its Winter Weather Outlook – What can we expect?

Posted at 8:35 AM, Oct 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-17 08:52:44-04

“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.” – NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released the 2014/2015 Winter Season Outlook, a “broad brush” look at the winter forecast. The outlook shows the general temperature and precipitation trends across the U.S.

Below average temperatures are favored in the south-central and southeastern United States. Above-average temperatures are most likely in the western U.S. and Northeast. Virginia and North Carolina fall into the “equal chance” category. “Equal chance” means that there is an equal chance for above, near, or below normal temperatures.

Above average precipitation is expected for most of the southern U.S. from southern California to Texas to Florida and up the East Coast. Below average precipitation is more likely in the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes. Eastern Virginia and North Carolina fall into the “>33%” category. That means that we will likely see a wetter than normal winter.

Important note from NOAA: “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.”