U.S. Winter Outlook: Strong El Niño sets the stage. NOAA Climate Prediction Center – Seasonal Outlook


Strong El Niño conditions remain in place across the equatorial Pacific Ocean as represented by both ocean and atmospheric data. The ongoing El Niño event is expected to peak in strength in late autumn or early winter with seasonal average sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region near or exceeding +2.0 degrees Celsius, diminishing in magnitude through the late winter and spring.

Nino regions

Niño Regions

The November-December-January (NDJ) 2015 temperature outlook indicates enhanced probabilities of above-normal temperatures for the far west, across the northern contiguous U.S. to the northeast, and southward to the mid-Atlantic. Within the contiguous U.S., the chances of above-normal temperatures are greatest along the pacific coast and along the northern tier from the Pacific Northwest to the great lakes with probabilities exceeding 50 percent. Below-normal temperatures are favored from New Mexico to Louisiana while above-normal temperatures are also most likely for Alaska.

The November-December-January (NDJ) 2015 precipitation outlook indicates enhanced probabilities of above-median precipitation amounts for central and southern California, the southwest, parts of the central and southern plains, the lower Mississippi valley, and the southeast northward to the mid-Atlantic. Above-median precipitation amounts are also most likely for the southern and northern coasts of Alaska. Below-median precipitation amounts are most likely for parts of the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, and great lakes.

Source: Climate Prediction Center – Seasonal Outlook

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