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Updated January Outlook – Cold West, Warm East & South

5 Jan 2017, 4:45 pm

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) recently updated its forecast for this month. It is calling for colder and wetter than average weather in the Northwest, warmer than normal temperatures in the East and South, and above average precipitation in the Southeast.

The CPC says the major climate factors have not changed over the last few weeks, with a weak La Nina continuing in the Pacific Ocean. La Nina is expected to continue through the month, although it is not as strong as observed in the past. This may result in less than robust seasonal impacts. La Nina was discussed and forecast previously by the Climate Prediction Center in the November and Fall/Winter long range forecasts.

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.

One of the more noticeable changes in the outlook compared to the previous forecast issued for January was the shift to above normal precipitation in the Southeast. The first couple of weeks of the month are expect to be wetter than average in that area of the country.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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