NOAA issues its 2019 Winter Outlook. Read how Alaska fares.

 (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
(AP Photo/Al Grillo, File) (KTUU)
Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 3:07 PM AKDT
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Alaska is forecast to see warmer than average temperatures this winter according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center.

The agency issues long term forecasts, this 2019 Winter Outlook covers December, January and February.

The outlook notes the greatest chance of warmer-than-normal conditions are in Alaska and Hawaii, with more modest probabilities for above-average temperatures spanning large parts of the Lower 48.

Even during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are expected.

Image from National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

Wetter-than-average conditions are most likely in Alaska and Hawaii this winter, along with parts of the Northern Plains to the Northeast.

And no portion of the U.S. is favored to see below-average temperatures this winter. The CPC says while winter conditions are often influenced by the El Niño Southern Oscillation or ENSO, neutral conditions are noted this year.

Other climate patterns like the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and Madden-Julian Oscillation could be bigger factors in shaping winter weather. Official say the Arctic Oscillation can be an influence on the number of arctic air masses that move into the U.S., but its predictability is just a two to four week time frame.

“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,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Image from National Weather Service/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

And drought conditions have improved in Alaska, with expectations of the same for Hawaii and central Texas and the Southwest. Drought will get worse in California.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issues the three-month outlook each month, the next update will be November 21.

The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. That’s due mainly to the unpredictability of snow more than a week ahead.

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