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High Country Observer


National Weather Service Riverton, WY
Volume 7 Issue 2, December 2003

Page 3


Meteorology 101:

Virga, as used in operational forecasting, is defined as a streak of precipitation that evaporates before it reaches the ground. This is not the only meaning of virga however. VIRGA was first used in aviation forecasting as an acronym standing for Variable Intensity Rainfall Gradient Aloft. This is an example of an acronym, that through the course of history, changes into a definition.


Figure 2 Climate Prediction Center Winter 03/04 precipitation forecast


What Can We Expect this Winter???

By Chad Hahn

Intern Meteorologist


        The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), located in Camp Springs, Maryland, creates a three month temperature and precipitation outlook each month. For a period that spans December through February, figure 1 shows warmer than normal temperatures are forecast along the West Coast, Southern Plains, and Midwest. Locally, warm temperatures will nudge into Northeastern Wyoming, while the rest of the state is expected to stay near seasonal averages.

        Note in figure 2, wetter than normal conditions are forecast to plague the Pacific Northwest and the Southern Plains, while dry weather will remain anchored in California, Florida, and Southern Georgia. Here in Wyoming, precipitation is forecast to remain near seasonal average.



    Figure 1 Climate Prediction Center Winter 03/04 temperature






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