Latest Winter Outlook Produced on December 16th

The latest outlooks produced on December 16h by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) continue the forecast of another cold and moist winter across western and central North Dakota. Shown below are the three month temperature and precipitation outlooks produced by CPC for the period of January through March. As indicated by the light blue shading across North Dakota in the three month temperature outlook (figure 1), there is a 33%-40% chance of below normal temperatures across much of the area during the January through March timeframe. Furthermore, the green shading in the precipitation outlook (figure 2) indicates there is a 33%-40% chance of above normal precipitation from January through March. This forecast of possible cooler than normal temperatures and above normal precipitation is consistent with the typical winter weather pattern expected for the Northern Plains associated with La Nina conditions (colder than normal sea surface temperatures across the eastern Pacific). To learn more about the possible affect of La Nina and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on this winter's weather and a detailed local supplement to the CPC outlooks, click here. Looking at December 2010 so far, it has started off cold and snowy, with most locations 6 to 10 degrees below normal as shown below in figure 3. Furthermore, except for the far southwest, precipitation values are running 150%-400% of normal across much of western and central North Dakota as shown in figure 4.

Jan/Feb/Mar Temperature Outlook

Figure 1

Jan/Feb/Mar Precipitation Outlook

Figure 2

December Temperature Departure From Normal Thus Far

Figure 3

Decemeber Precipitation Percent of Normal Thus Far 

Figure 4

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