As we approach the State Fair and the unofficial close out of the summer season, it is often that I get asked, what’s the winter going to be like? Never mind the fact that the new Farmer’s Almanac has yet to come out with its prediction!
I’ve never been good a long range forecasting and I defer my opinion to the National Climate Prediction Center of NOAA. They have the courage to issue seasonal outlooks and, yes, three-month outlooks for an entire year.
Last year’s outlook issued about this time for December, January and February was for odds to favor above normal temperatures for our neck of the woods. They continued to issue an outlook that favored above normal temperatures right up until November, when they started to pull back a little from the confidence of the milder than normal winter.
Of course, you recall we were certainly not mild last winter.
So there it is. The most recent outlook for the winter of 2009/2010, indicating a rather high confidence of above normal temperatures. Perhaps, this confidence is tied to the developing and strengthening El Nino.
Remember, the image is not a magnitude of warmth, but of the probabilities favoring above normal temperatures, on avearge, for the winter.