NOAA issues winter outlook

Warm and dry conditions are favored overall in Alabama
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 9:23 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Buckle up because it’s about to be a wild winter full of arctic blasts, ice and plenty of snow!

O.K. not really. Did I have you going for a second at least?

This winter is actually forecast to be the exact opposite of that according to NOAA’s 2022-23 winter outlook released this week.

Temperatures are favored to be above normal this winter in Alabama.
Temperatures are favored to be above normal this winter in Alabama.(NOAA/Climate Prediction Center)

La Niña is expected to return for the third consecutive winter. It’s not often you see three straight winters with a La Niña, but that’s exactly what we’re going to get this winter.

A La Niña typically favors warmer-than-normal and drier-than-normal weather across the southern tier of the U.S. Alabama is right in the middle of that.

The maps just released by NOAA support that.

It is forecast to be drier than normal in Alabama this winter.
It is forecast to be drier than normal in Alabama this winter.(NOAA/Climate Prediction Center)

Alabama is in the orange shade on the temperature outlook and the brownish shade on the precipitation outlook. Based on the map legends, Alabama is in the “leaning below” category for precipitation and the “leaning above” category in the temperature department.

That means the probability of seeing a warmer-than-normal and drier-than-normal winter is higher than a colder-than-normal and wetter-than-normal winter.

It’s important to remember that these are seasonal outlooks for a 3-month span from December 1st to February 28th. So while the overall 90-day stretch of meteorological winter is projected to be above normal temperature-wise and below normal precipitation-wise, there will almost certainly be cold and wet days mixed in.

It’s just the majority of days will be drier and warmer than a typical December, January or February day. It doesn’t mean it won’t snow, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for meaningful snow or long-lasting cold this winter!

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