The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its long-range forecast for this upcoming winter season. With La Niña ongoing in the southern half of the country, including Texas, we can expect a warmer and drier winter.
As of Friday, 45% of the country is in a drought and the trend will continue through the winter months.
The winter outlook is for December 2020 through February 2021. The forecasts are becoming more and more accurate every year.
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“NOAA's timely and accurate seasonal outlooks and short-term forecasts are the result of improved satellite observations, more detailed computer forecast modeling, and expanding supercomputing capacity," said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.
NOAA’s seasonal outlooks provide the likelihood that temperatures and total precipitation amounts will be above, near, or below-average, and how drought conditions could change. The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.
The greatest chances for warmer-than-normal conditions extend across the southern tier of the country. Below-normal temperatures are expected in southern Alaska and from the northern Pacific Northwest into the Northern Plains. Areas in white have equal chances for below, near, or above-average temperatures this winter.
Wetter-than-average conditions are most likely across the northern tier of the U.S. The greatest chances for drier-than-average conditions are predicted in the Southwest, across Texas, along the Gulf Coast, and in Florida. The rest of the country falls into the category of equal chances for below, near, or above-average precipitation.
With a La Nina climate pattern in place, southern parts of the U.S. may experience expanded and intensifying drought during the winter months ahead.
Widespread, ongoing drought is currently in place across the western half of the continental U.S. as a result of the weak Southwest summer monsoon season and near-record high temperatures.
Normal North Texas winter temperatures and precipitation values at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
- December: High of 57 degrees, Low of 37 degrees; 2.55 inches of precipitation.
- January: High of 56 degrees, Low of 35 degrees; 2.13 inches of precipitation.
- February: High of 60 degrees, Low of 39 degrees; 2.66 inches of precipitation.