In the last few years, it is hard to pick which weather disasters are the worst. The West has been pummeled by 100 degrees plus temperatures that last for days. Blasts of high winds have spread huge wildfires in many of the same areas. Drought is so bad in some states that experts believe global warming will keep them from recovering–ever. Deadly floods have hit parts of the middle U.S. And huge hurricanes have hit places as far north as New England and pounded the New Orleans area. Many scientists warn that all these weather events will worsen as the effects of global warming spread.
Every year, the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, which is part of the National Weather Service, publishes a forecast for the period from December through February. It has just issued the NOAA’s 2021 Winter Outlook.
According to Michael Farrar, Ph.D., director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction:
Using the most up-to-date observing technologies and computer models, our dedicated forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center produce timely and accurate seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for the months ahead.
The forecast looks at three measurements–precipitation, temperature, and drought. In each case, it predicts whether conditions will be near normal, above, or below. It also assigns probabilities to its forecasts.
According to the survey, much of the south will have above-average temperatures. The Pacific Northwest is expected to be colder than normal.
The Southeast and Southwest are expected to have drier than normal conditions. In areas hardest hit by drought in the last several years, the situation is expected to worsen.
One state expected to be hit particularly hard by worse than normal weather is Washington. It is highly likely temperatures there will be well below normal. There is a high degree of probability it will be hit by much higher levels of precipitation.