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NOAA releases 2020-2021 Winter Outlook

La Niña will remain Queen

This morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave their annual Winter Outlook for the 2020-2021 season. The big story: La Niña.

We talked about La Niña a few weeks ago and that continues to look to be a major driver in what we can expect for the winter ahead-- read that article if you need a refresher.

The key points from their report were that they expect La Niña conditions to continue to develop. This will likely lead to a pretty big split in daily/weekly temperatures. Colder air looks dominate the northern plains, with a wide swath of warmer than normal weather expected across the drought-ridden southwest.

The precipitation looks like it wants to follow the cold air too... this will likely lead to lots of snow for the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. They've also highlighted the Ohio Valley as an area for above normal precip too.

Unfortunately, the extreme drought that's developed in the southern and western tiers of the U.S. will likely continue to worsen.

What about mid-Missouri?

As you can see from the two maps above, mid-Missouri isn't favored for Warm/Cold or Wet/Dry. The Climate Prediction center says that our area is under "equal chances" for each category.

Now, this looks like it could mean one of two things:

  1. Things are normal this winter... No major cold... a snow event here or there, but nothing that tips the scales in the temperatures/precipitation department.
  2. (What I think is more likely, especially give the trends so far this Fall...) Lots of big swings in temperatures/storms... with several periods of quiet time to even things out.

I think the polar vortex and Bermuda high are going to be in a tug-of-war for much of the season. Current upper-air/climatological trends are reminiscent the winter of 2006/2007.

That type of pattern was conducive for several Midwest icing events and has the capability of bringing the threat of severe weather, even in the dead of winter.

And of course...

Don't forget to watch the ABC 17 Stormtrack Winter Weather Special! We're already getting our stories ready for that broadcast and will be airing it in about a month!

We'll take a closer look at what mid-Missouri can expect then!


Insider Blog / Weather

Luke Victor

Luke Victor gives forecasts on ABC 17 News broadcasts and reports on weather stories on air and online, giving viewers and readers a deeper look at what causes different types of weather.


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