Winter Outlook: How cold and snowy is it expected to be this year?

Winter Weather

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Given how warm it’s been so far this fall, winter is probably the last thing on everyone’s mind.

However, we all know the cold and snowy months are inevitable, though the big question now is — just how cold and snowy will it be?

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its outlook for winter 2021-22, which covers both temperature and precipitation.

It’s worth noting this is an outlook, not a forecast, and it doesn’t mean we won’t see any cold air. We’re in a La Niña pattern (just like last winter) and typically with such a pattern, we see above-average temperatures during the winter months.

The map above shows that NOAA believes there is a 40-50% chance that all of New England sees above-average temperatures from December through February.

Just like winter 2020, the timing of cold air with nearby storms will play a large role in how much snow we see.

Typically in La Niña winters, our area sees above average snowfall. However, as shown below, NOAA’s outlook is indicating an average winter:

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