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NOAA releases its updated 2020-21 Winter Outlook

Temperature Forecast
Temperature Forecast(NOAA)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released their latest winter outlook for the upcoming season with a few changes from the previous outlook issued earlier in 2020. This updated outlook, is valid from December 2020 - February 2021.

The weak to moderate La Nina weather conditions that are happening now, points to warmer than normal conditions across the Southern Tier of the United States. Average temperatures are expected for the state of Wisconsin.

Of the past 14 weak to moderate La Nina weather events, 11 of them had temperatures ending up below average for Wisconsin. The most recent weak to moderate La Nina weather event in 2011/2012, the average temperature for Wisconsin ended up well above average for the winter season.

Temperature Outlook
Temperature Outlook(NOAA)

Precipitation is expected to be above average for Wisconsin and much of the Northern Tier of the United States. While that can point to a higher than average snowfall for the season, it may also allow for more “warmer” events of rain and sleet, as opposed to an all snow event.

Of the past 14 weak to moderate La Nina weather events, 8 winter seasons ended up with above normal precipitation for the 3-month span. The most recent above average precipitation event occurred in 2011/2012 with just slightly above normal precipitation.

Precipitation Outlook
Precipitation Outlook(NOAA)

For a different take on it, the Farmers' Almanac forecast for Wisconsin this winter, has Wisconsin on the line between “Cold, Above Normal Snowfall” and “Cold, Very Flaky”. One thing to note about the Farmers' Almanac forecast, it is valid longer than the 3 month NOAA Winter Outlook listed above.

The Farmers’ Almanac forecasts: “Cold and snowy in the north. Drought in the west. And everything crazy in between!”
The Farmers’ Almanac forecasts: “Cold and snowy in the north. Drought in the west. And everything crazy in between!”(Source: Farmers' Almanac)

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