Winter Outlook: Warmer with Less Precipitation

Posted at 12:12 PM, Oct 15, 2015

WEST MICHIGAN-  The latest outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center has been released for the months of January, February, and March.  It looks as if the entire state of Michigan is expected to have a mild winter this year!


A strong El Nino has historically had an impact on our winter weather pattern.  Warmer than average temperatures coupled with drier than average precipitation has the potential to create a mild winter.  The colder jet stream shifts to the north, pushing colder air and more storms out of our region.  A second jet develops in the southern United States providing the likelihood for more rainfall as storm systems move through these regions (thus, why Californians are so much more interested in the El Nino this year.)


We are given a 40% chance or greater of below average precipitation for the months of January thru March as a result.  Temperature wise, we are given a greater than 50% shot of warmer than normal temperatures this winter.


No, this does NOT mean we aren’t going to see snow.  Yes, we ARE going to get cold at some point this winter.  It’s still Michigan, it’s still winter.  We know it’s coming, and we’ll have to deal accordingly.  This does provide a nice outlook that it may not be as unbearably frigid as the past several winters, with lower than average snowfall.