Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center say a weak and short-lived La Nina condition over the Pacific Ocean may continue our current warm and dry pattern into this coming winter. The Climate Prediction Center issued a La Nina watch earlier this October, predicting the climate phenomenon is likely to develop in late fall or early winter. La Nina favors drier, warmer winters in the southern U.S and wetter, cooler conditions in the northern U.S.
According to N.O.A.A., Southwest Missouri falls into the “equal chance” category for precipitation, meaning that there is not a strong enough climate signal in our area to shift the odds. So we have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal precipitation.
However, the Climate Prediction Center is saying that we do have a greater than 33% chance of above-normal temperatures for this coming winter throughout the Springfield, Missouri County Warning Area. Given the way this fall has been going, this outlook doesn’t seem far-fetched.
Could this added warmth translate to increased severe weather potential during the late fall and winter months for our area? Anything is possible, so the best bet is to always remain prepared.