EAST PROVIDENCE (WPRI) — If you’re expecting an old-time New England winter, the odds may not be in your favor, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA recently released its winter weather outlook for this year’s meteorological winter, which includes forecasts for December, January and February.
The outlook forecasts a greater than equal chance that it will be milder than normal this winter.
It also forecasts an equal chance of a drier or wetter than normal winter, meaning at this point, trends are not strong enough to favor a wet or dry winter.
In making a long-term winter forecast, El Niño and La Niña (based on temperature patterns in parts of the Pacific Ocean) are often used as one of the guides.
However, this winter, it is expected that there will be neither much of an El Niño or La Niña. This is otherwise known as “neutral” conditions.
This means other patterns, like the Arctic Oscillation, may be weighted more heavily in the forecast.
The NOAA outlook states that “without either El Niño or La Niña conditions, short-term climate patterns like the Arctic Oscillation will drive winter weather and could result in large swings in temperature and precipitation.”
If the winter ends up milder than normal, there will likely still be periods of cold and snow. Every winter has at least some of that!