Winter made an early and unwelcome appearance last weekend, causing travel troubles in several states, and reminding truckers that it’s always good to have chains on board.
The upcoming winter season will feature unique El Niño conditions, according to DTN, a leading independent provider of insights and information, and publisher of Progressive Farmer magazine. According to the winter weather outlook released recently, DTN’s meteorologists are anticipating El Niño to wreak havoc and cause sudden and dramatic changes in weather conditions throughout the season.
“Winter weather conditions will be guided by El Niño, which should be based in the central Pacific Ocean, rather than a more typical full Pacific Basin El Niño,” said Jeff Johnson, certified consulting meteorologist at DTN. “While winter may start out fairly benign for most of the country, conditions will intensify and we’ll experience dramatic changes throughout the winter.”
DTN’s team of meteorologists anticipate that the Polar Vortex will rear its ugly head in the second half of winter, driving colder air southward into the eastern two-thirds of the country. It will feature shots of intense cold air at times and will likely push the main storm track south to the Gulf Coast. In terms of snow, DTN has indicated there will likely be bouts of intense lake effect snow in the North Central United States and southerners may experience wintry precipitation events.
“While we anticipate this winter will not linger quite as long as the 2017-2018 winter season, we do believe that California and other areas of the West will start to see some relief from the droughts that have been plaguing them for some time,” said Nate Hamblin, long range team lead at DTN. “We expect to see January and February produce increased rain and mountain snow across California and the Desert Southwest. We’ll be watching though for periods of intense precipitation, which could lead to flooding and mudslides.”