What is the 2013-14 winter season going to bring?
Is it El Niño or La Niña?
Do forecasts indicate a colder winter, or is heavy snowfall on the horizon?
The answer, according to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center the answer is “maybe.”
According to the most recent forecast, there is the potential for heavy or light snow and cold or warmer temperatures which indicates there is really no clear cut answer.
“For any location there is a finite chance that precipitation will be below, near or above average,” stated a NOAA report.
Most of the midwest, including Minnesota is labeled as “EC” by the prediction center, which means “equal chances” indicating trends it has observed have not demonstrated one way or the other.
The Farmers Almanac has predicted below-normal temperatures, which have been the case over the past week, as average temps below zero are not indicative for this time of year. The Almanac forecast is for the coldest temperatures in the nation to be in the northern plains states.
The bigger issue for much of the United States is the drought conditions that continue, with some areas, including Texas dealing with dry weather for three years now.
It appears the lack of solid conformation regarding moisture would lead one to believe the winter months are not going to offer much promise toward alleviating that issue. The two winter blasts that have hit the Redwood area have left several inches of snow on the ground, and the November snowfall that melted was a good sign for drier soils in this area.
Without a strong sense one way or another, the climate prediction center is showing there are likely to be a number of varied climate patterns for the short term this season, which means no long-term indications are going to be made for the near future. Winter is up in the air.