Winter 2021 might carry hotter, drier climate to Colorado

COLORADO – According to a new forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, La Nina’s climatic conditions will bring above-average temperatures to much of the United States for the second year running this winter. In the meantime, residents of other states should better bundle up as a colder, wetter time of year is approaching.

Colorado is among those expected to see warmer and drier weather in 2021, according to a 2021 winter forecast released Thursday by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

According to NOAA’s winter weather forecast, droughts will continue to occur across Colorado. Southern Colorado is expected to receive below average rainfall, but the northern half of our state could see average rainfall.

The NOAA forecast is three months, December-February.

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Meanwhile, parts of the northern United States, primarily the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies, the Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, and western Alaska are expected to experience above-average wetter conditions.

Experts are also keeping an eye on the states battling the ongoing drought.

Widespread severe to exceptional drought will continue to dominate the western half of the continental US, the Northern Plains, and the Missouri River Basin. However, the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Upper Midwest, and Hawaii are most likely to see drought improvement.

In terms of temperature, the southernmost plain of the United States, as well as much of the eastern United States, are most likely reported warmer than average above average.

Southeastern states such as Florida are most likely to experience temperature spikes, while southeastern Alaska and the Pacific Northwest eastward to the northern plains are predicted to below average temperatures.

The Upper Mississippi Valley and small areas of the Great Lakes have equal chances of below, near or above average temperatures, according to NOAA.

NOAA’s seasonal outlook provides insight into the likely temperatures and total rainfall that will be above, near, or below average, as well as how drought conditions are likely to change in the coming months. The outlook does not forecast seasonal snowfall clusters, as snow forecasts cannot usually be foreseen more than a week in advance.

NOAA is expected to update the winter outlook on November 19th.

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