The coming winter will likely be drier and warmer than normal in Indiana, according to the winter outlook that the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issued yesterday.
This year’s El Niño (annual warming of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru) is among the strongest on record. Forecasters expect it to influence weather and climate patterns this winter by impacting the position of the Pacific jet stream.
“A strong El Niño is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter,” CPC deputy director Mike Halpert said in a news release. “While temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are favored, El Niño is not the only player. Cold-air outbreaks and snow storms will likely occur at times this winter. However, the frequency, number and intensity of these events cannot be predicted on a seasonal timescale.”
The seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms might hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strengths and tracks of winter storms, which forecasters can generally not predict more than a week in advance.