2021 is expected to start warmer than normal, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center
. The January through March outlook issued recently has a large section of the nation, from the East Coast to the Southwest, forecast to see warmer than normal temperatures. The Northwest and Northern Plains will likely start the year colder than average.
The southern tier of the nation has higher odds to see a drier start to the year. This will likely lead to drought persistence and some expansion from the Southwest through the Southern Plains into the Southeast. A wetter than average 90 day period is expected from the Northwest into the Great Lakes.
La Nina conditions are present in the Pacific and further strengthening is expected. Those observations are the driving force behind the trends for the January to March outlook. The CPC
states that La Nina conditions are being observed in the Pacific Ocean and are expected into early next year. La Nina was discussed earlier this month
by the CPC with an La Nina Advisory continuing. Model forecasts and recent global pattern observations were also used to determine the 90 day forecast.