Preliminary Winter Weather Outlook

MGN Online
Weather Talk

POSTED: Friday, August 22, 2014 - 8:43am

UPDATED: Friday, August 22, 2014 - 9:10am

The last day of astronomical summer is officially over September 21st. Has it felt like an “East Texas” summer to you?

This summer, compared to other summers, has been slightly cooler. It has been a good relief from the oppressive heat and humidity. But, does this summer have an impact on our upcoming winter?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac—a known weather book that’s been around many years—has published its winter weather outlook for the United States. They are predicting a so-called “super-cold” winter for two-thirds of the country.

Is the Farmer’s Almanac accurate? Their forecast for the current summer was nowhere close for much of the country.

I believe the winter forecast they are giving has some pros and cons. Let’s talk about what is currently taking place and what could happen.

EL NIÑO…

El Niño is simply a warming of the waters off the coast of South America in the Pacific Ocean.

In this pattern, disturbances from the Pacific can provide an increase chance of precipitation.

El Niño is a correlation to increased precipitation, not to temperatures.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE PACIFIC?

Here is a look at the sea surface temperatures out in the Equatorial Pacific. While these temperatures are not too impressive, it does show signs to a weak El Niño event.

THE “INITIAL” FORECAST

There is a good chance that we will see more precipitation than normal in the Southern Plains. Remember, El Niño links to increased precipitation. I believe this will happen due to disturbances moving out of the Pacific and over the southern states. The Climate Prediction Center agrees—their current outlook for January-March 2015 shows Above Normal precipitation chances for southern states.

Temperatures are tricky to forecast. Temperatures do not fully correlate to an El Niño or La Niña pattern. Based off how the weather has performed across the USA recently (colder than normal winters and summers), one would believe that this trend is likely to continue. If this does happen, we can expect a colder than normal winter—which equals the potential of wintry weather for us.

The Climate Prediction Center has parts of Texas under a risk of seeing below normal temperatures.

The information here should be taken just like a forecast we give you daily. This can change. However, the trends over the last few months are indicating that a weak El Niño pattern is possible.

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