Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic States to Experience Warmer Winter, Predicts NOAA

winter snowImage by Diana Parkhouse

PENNSYLVANIA — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its U.S. Winter Outlook, indicating that El Niño is in place heading into winter for the first time in four years. This is expected to result in warmer-than-average temperatures for the northern tier of the continental United States, including Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic states.

Sarah Kapnick, Ph.D., NOAA chief scientist, emphasized the importance of these outlooks, stating, “These outlooks provide critical guidance on the upcoming season for many industries and sectors of our economy, from energy producers to commodities markets to agricultural interests to tourism.”

NOAA predicts wetter-than-average conditions for northern Alaska, portions of the West, the southern Plains, Southeast, Gulf Coast, and lower mid-Atlantic from December through February. Conversely, drier-than-average conditions are anticipated across the northern tier of the U.S., particularly in the northern Rockies and High Plains and near the Great Lakes.

Jon Gottschalck, chief of the Operational Prediction Branch of the Climate Prediction Center, explained that “An enhanced southern jet stream and associated moisture often present during strong El Niño events supports high odds for above-average precipitation for the Gulf Coast, lower Mississippi Valley, and Southeast states this winter.”

In collaboration with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), NOAA forecasters are closely monitoring extreme, ongoing drought conditions that have persisted through the southern and central U.S. Brad Pugh, operational drought lead with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, noted that “According to the Oct. 17 U.S. Drought Monitor, a third of the country, including Puerto Rico, is in drought.”

For the temperature outlook, NOAA favors warmer-than-average temperatures across the northern tier of the U.S. and much of the Far West. The greatest odds for warmer-than-average conditions are in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and northern New England. Near-normal seasonal mean temperatures are most likely for a region from the south-central Rockies to the southern Plains.

In terms of precipitation, wetter-than-average conditions are most likely in northern Alaska, some areas of the West from parts of California to the south-central Rockies, the southern Plains, Gulf Coast, Southeast, and lower mid-Atlantic. The greatest odds for drier-than-average conditions are forecast in portions of the northern Rockies and central Great Lakes region, especially for Michigan and northern Ohio and Indiana.

Regarding drought conditions, NOAA reports that widespread extreme to exceptional drought continues to persist across much of the South and portions of the central U.S. Drought conditions are expected to improve across the Southeast, the Gulf Coast (including the lower Mississippi Valley), and Texas due to the expected wetter-than-average forecast. However, drought conditions are expected to persist for the northern Rockies, northern Great Plains, and portions of the desert Southwest this winter.

For Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic states, this winter forecast means that residents can expect warmer-than-average temperatures, with potentially wetter conditions. These predictions could have significant implications for various sectors such as energy, agriculture, tourism, and local economies. As always, residents are advised to stay updated on the latest weather forecasts and to prepare accordingly for the coming winter season.

For more information on your local weather conditions or guidance, be sure to check out MyChesCo Weather Center.

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