Winter expected to be colder than normal

Last week, I gave our area snowfall predictions for the upcoming winter. Snowfall totals in our region for November are likely to end up above normal as more snow is expected toward the end of the month. | Nov 15, 2012

by Randy Mann

Here are general winter regional outlooks for the Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada, Southern California and northern Mexico, and the northern Great Plains and the Midwest.

Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada: As ocean temperatures have cooled in the south-central Pacific Ocean to a weak La Nada (in-between La Niña and El Niño) sea-surface temperature event, moisture has increased after a record dry summer.

It now appears that the upcoming winter will be a bit colder and wetter than normal as the storm track will be directed over this area. However, snowfall totals should not be all that high as some of the moisture will fall as rain.

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The heaviest periods of rain and snow are likely during the middle and end of November, December, January, February and early March. Some of the coldest weather will be near the full moon cycles of December, January and February, especially in areas along the U.S./Canada border.

Southern California, northern Mexico and the Desert Southwest: This upcoming winter will likely have temperatures near normal, but precipitation will be slightly below normal as most of the storms will stay to the north.

The end of December and much of January will provide the best chances for measurable precipitation in this region. Also, it’s possible that very frigid temperatures will move into Southern California’s citrus and vegetable production areas in early to mid-January.

The prairie provinces of Canada, the northern U.S. Great Plains and the Midwest corn and soybean belt: For much of the winter, temperatures should be slightly below normal levels with above normal precipitation. This would likely mean above normal snowfalls for this region.

The best chance for heavy snows across this zone would be toward the end of November, the last week in December and the last week in February or early March. Additional moisture is likely toward the middle of those months, but some of it may fall as rain rather than snow. The last week of January may be very cold across this area.


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