NOAA Issues a Winter Weather Outlook

Scientists from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said there is a 55 percent to 65 percent chance of La Nina weather conditions developing before winter begins - the second straight La Nina winter.

There's no exact forecast for how much snow and rain the city could get during a winter with La Nina, but Chicago tends to get the most precipitation in January.

Overall, the NOAA is predicting a greater-than-30% chance of below-average winter temperatures for some northwestern and central northern parts of the U.S. Meanwhile, chances range from about 30% to over 50% for higher than normal temperatures in the southern U.S., across the middle of the country and up into the northeast, including Maine.

Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across most of the northern United States, extending from the northern Rockies, to the eastern Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, in Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.

Private forecasting firm Accuweather agrees that a La Nina pattern is likely to emerge with the start of winter.

NOAA didn't place a bet on the odds of a wetter or drier winter in New England, saying the region had an equal chance of above-average, average, or below-average precipitation.

In general, the winter forecast is expected to be dominated by La Nina, a cooling of the Pacific equatorial waters. However, much of the southern US would be drier than normal.

∙ Warmer-than-normal conditions are most likely across the southern two-thirds of the continental US, along the East Coast, across Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska. "Areas away from the I-95 corridor have a better chance at a big snowfall".

Mt. Baker Ski Area is gearing up for the season, which usually begins between November 19-22, depending on the amount and quality of snowfall, officials said on their snow report.

This winter is expected to be snowier than usual for Chicago.

But after a big season for snowfall in central and Northern California previous year, Pastelok predicts both regions to be less wet and snowy in the upcoming months.

  • Tracy Klein