NOAA releases 2021-2022 winter outlook
(KTEN) — NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released its 2021-2022 winter outlook Thursday morning. The seasonal outlooks provide insight on temperature, precipitation, and departures from average for the upcoming season.
The outlooks do not forecast snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are generally not issued more than a week in advance.
With the return of La Niña for the second winter in a row, forecasters are calling for a high probability of a “warmer than average” winter across much of the southern United States, including Texoma.
The winter forecast also calls for a high likelihood of a “drier than average” winter across the majority of Texas and portions of western Oklahoma. Texoma is included in the “equal chances” area on NOAA’s precipitation outlook map.
For the KTEN viewing area, this means the probability of above normal or below normal precipitation this winter is equal.
The outlook also calls for drought conditions to either develop or persist for the majority of the Lone Star State and the Sooner State. The forecast for increased drought comes while almost the entire state of Oklahoma and portions of far north Texas are already experiencing abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought.
According to Jon Gottschalck with the Climate Prediction Center: “The nature of a probabilistic forecast means that other outcomes remain possible, but are not likely.”
The winter outlook includes what a “typical” La Niña winter brings but extreme events, like cold snaps, are still possible.
While a La Niña year typically means warmer and drier for the South, this does not mean we can't still see extreme events. This was seen during February 2021 when much of Texas and Oklahoma were below freezing despite a La Niña winter.