January Forecast Issued from the Climate Prediction Center Dec 22, 2017

On Thursday, the Climate Prediction Center issued their monthly forecast for January. There are several similarities to the 90 day forecast that was also issued yesterday.  Colder than average temperatures are in the forecast for the Great Lakes and High Plains. Above average temperatures are expected for the Southwest and South, along with drier than normal weather. Wetter than average weather is expected in the Northwest and Ohio Valley.

The Climate Prediction Center noted that the forecast was based on model guidance, typical influences of La Nina, and long term trends. The discussion said, “the current state of La Nina and seasonal trends provide backdrop for the monthly outlook”.

La Nina conditions are being observed in the Pacific Ocean and are expected to continue through the beginning of the year. La Nina (translated from Spanish as “little girl”) is a natural ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean near the equator. It’s the opposite of El Nino (“little boy”), which is when warmer than normal water temperatures are observed.

Typical La Nina patterns during winter include above-average precipitation and colder-than-average temperatures along the northern tier of the U.S. and below-normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South.

Edited for WeatherNation by Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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