EAST TEXAS (KTRE/KLTV) - Earlier today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, released their outlook on the upcoming 2018-19 winter season that encompasses the three-month period that runs from December 2018 through February 2019.
According to NOAA’s outlook, much of Texas, including us in East Texas, are expected to see wetter than normal conditions throughout the winter season.
The wetter-than-average conditions could be impacted by the onset of El Nino this winter.
El Nino occurs when the sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean have an anomaly that is warmer than normal for a period of time. This phenomena is important because it can alter the jet stream and the steering currents over the lower 48.
“We expect El Nino to be in place in late fall to early winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Although a weak El Nino is expected, it may still influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North.”
In regards to temperatures, NOAA is calling for a slightly milder, or warmer than normal winter season for us in East Texas.
It should be noted that this is an outlook and not a forecast. This outlook gives us a trend of what should happen over a 90-day period. This does not mean we will be void of cold snaps and hard freezes. It is just saying that if you average out the daily temperatures over that three-month stretch, we should be slightly warmer than normal.