winter weather

Warmer Than Average Winter Predicted for North Texas as La Nina Pattern Returns

Some wintery precipitation is still possible this winter

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The outlook going into winter will be very familiar for Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas.

That’s because La Nina will the driving weather pattern again this winter -- the same pattern we were in this past season.

That's the prediction from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Released Thursday, NOAA's forecast covers December 2021 through February 2022.

So, what can we expect across North Texas during a typical La Nina? The general pattern favors drier and warmer weather. However, because the jet stream typically dives from the Pacific Northwest into the Central Plains, we can still see an occasional surge of colder air dive into North Texas.

This U.S. Winter Outlook 2021-2022 map for temperature shows warmer-than-average conditions across the South and most of the eastern U.S.
NOAA Climate.gov | NWS CPC
This U.S. Winter Outlook 2021-2022 map for temperature shows warmer-than-average conditions across the South and most of the eastern U.S.

If there happens to be some moisture when the cold air arrives, then some wintry precipitation would be possible.

Drier-than-average conditions are favored in south-central Alaska, southern California, the Southwest, and the Southeast.
NOAA Climate.gov | NWS CPC
Drier-than-average conditions are favored in south-central Alaska, southern California, the Southwest, and the Southeast.

However, just because La Nina will set up again this winter, that does not mean we’re guaranteed to have another major cold air invasion happen like we did last February.

It will be possible, but certainly not guaranteed.

“Consistent with typical La Nina conditions during winter months, we anticipate below-normal temperatures along portions of the northern tier of the U.S. while much of the South experiences above-normal temperatures,” said Jon Gottschalck, chief of NOAA's Operational Prediction Branch. “The Southwest will certainly remain a region of concern as we anticipate below-normal precipitation where drought conditions continue in most areas.”

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center updates its three-month outlook each month, with the next update available Nov. 19. 

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