Winter Outlook Dec. 2011 – Feb. 2012

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their outlook for the upcoming winter months:  Winter Outlook.  The outlook covers the 90 day period from December 2011 through February 2012.  La Nina, cooler than normal water temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, is expected to produce more wet weather across much of the northern United States, and drier than normal weather across the south.  A cold winter is expected over much ofthe upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions.  A warm winter is indicated for much of the Southwest, Southern Plains, and western Gulf Coast.

Here in Maryland, the La Nina pattern does produce a clear signal for our winter weather.  Our weather over the same 90 day period will be more prone to the North Atlantic Oscillation, a periodic fluctuation between high and low pressure over Greenland and the North Atlantic Ocean.  Therefore, there are equal chances of cold and warm weather here, as well as, equal chances that it will be dry or wet.

Tom Tasselmyer

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