Back in October, the Climate Prediction Center issued its yearly winter outlook for the 2016/2017 season. To catch you up, here’s a quick look at what they were projecting for the December, January, February time period:
Now that December is almost over, how have the last 30 days stacked up against the forecast?
November 2016 was the second warmest November on record for the United States, topping off the warmest fall on record. The precipitation for the month in the US was 0.50″ below average. Mother Nature seemed to do a 180 in December, bringing in several major winter storms and artic blasts of air.
The developing La Nina pattern that drove this winter’s forecast favors drier, warmer weather in the south and cooler, wetter weather in the north.
The High Plains have seen an active month with multiple blizzards in the last month. Hence, their precipitation totals have been 2-3+ times the average. While the central and southern US stayed mostly dry as a whole, some much needed rain finally came back to the southeast.
What does that mean for areas impacted by drought? Because it took a long time to get the southeast and southern California into such a deep drought, it’s going to take a while to get them out. The rains we’ve seen in the southeast have chiseled away at some of the extreme and exceptional drought, but the longer term seasonal prognoses doesn’t look as optimistic.
Keep in mind, localized details can’t be worked out the broad scale forecast and we still have two months to go.