Along with the monthly and winter outlooks last week, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued the 90 day outlook covering November through January. Like previous months, warmer than average temperatures is predicted for many areas of the nation: the East, South, and most of the West. Below normal temperatures are not anticipated in the lower 48 states.
The Great Lakes and Northwest are expected to see above average precipitation. Drier than normal weather is forecast for the southern third of the nation, which will likely lead to a continuation of drought conditions in the West and expansion across the southern Plains and Florida.
Earlier this month, La Nina conditions were observed in the Pacific Ocean. Those observations are the driving force behind the trends for the 90 day outlook, as a moderate strength La Nina is predicted ahead. Coastal sea surface temperatures and model forecasts also influenced the outlook.
Related Article – NOAA Marks The Return of La Niña
La Nina occurs when the waters of the Pacific Ocean show a general trend of cooling, the opposite of an El Nino. During La Nina periods, the Jet Stream is less active in the Southern U.S. This usually leads to less storms systems and below average precipitation. Cooler than normal weather typically occurs across the northern tier of the country and occasionally wetter periods as well.