ROCKFORD (WREX) — There could be more snow or rain in our region this winter, according to forecast predictions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Wetter-than-average conditions are more likely in portions of the Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes and part of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
In the map to your right, you will see the Rockford region is highlighted in darker green.
NOAA also says warmer-than-average temperatures are forecast for much of the U.S. this winter. The exception would be the northern tier of the U.S.
Our area has an equal chance for below, near, or above average temperatures. No part of the U.S. is favored to have below-average temperatures this winter, NOAA says.
Although below-average temperatures are not favored, cold weather is anticipated and some areas could still experience a colder-than-average winter.
While the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern often influences the winter, neutral conditions are in place this year and expected to persist into the spring. In the absence of El Nino or La Nina, long-term trends become a key predictor for the outlook, while other climate patterns, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation (AO) will likely play a larger role in determining winter weather. For example, the AO influences the number of arctic air masses that intrude into the U.S., but predictability is limited to a couple weeks.
“Without either El Nino or La Nina conditions, short-term climate patterns like the Arctic Oscillation will drive winter weather and could result in large swings in temperature and precipitation,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
This spring saw significant and historic flooding across the central U.S. that impacted nearly 17 million people. However, during the summer and early fall, drought rapidly developed across much of the South, with drought conditions now present across approximately 20 percent of the country.
For more on the winter outlook, be sure to tune in to 13 News at 5 & 6.