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La Niña likely to return

Wetter-than-average conditions predicted

La Niña is expected to return for the third consecutive winter. Starting in December 2022 through February 2023, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts wetter-than-average conditions for areas of the Pacific Northwest, Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, and the northern Rockies.

"The hardworking forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center produce timely and accurate seasonal outlooks and short-term forecasts year-round," said Michael Farrar, Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. "NOAA's new supercomputers are enabling us to develop even better, more detailed forecast capabilities, which we'll be rolling out in the coming years."

NOAA forecasters, in collaboration with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), continue to monitor extreme, ongoing drought conditions that have persisted in the Western U.S. since late 2020, as well as parts of the central U.S. where historic low-water conditions are currently present.

"Drought conditions are now present across approximately 59% of the country, but parts of the Western U.S and southern Great Plains will continue to be the hardest hit this winter," said Jon Gottschalck, chief, of the Operational Prediction Branch, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "With the La Niña climate pattern still in place, drought conditions may also expand to the Gulf Coast."

Below-normal temperatures are favored from the Pacific Northwest eastward to the western Great Lakes and the Alaska Panhandle.

The 2022-2023 U.S. Winter Outlook map for precipitation shows wetter-than-average conditions are most likely in western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley. Drier-than-average conditions are forecast in portions of California, the Southwest, the southern Rockies, the southern Plains, the Gulf Coast, and much of the Southeast. (NOAA)

NOAA's seasonal outlooks provide the likelihood that temperatures and total precipitation amounts will be above-, near- or below-average, and how drought conditions are anticipated to change in the months ahead. The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations as snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook each month. The next update will be available on November 17th.


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