Winter 2017-2018 look ahead

From The Mountain Mail (April Obholz):

“Colorado will favor above-average temps” in the coming winter, Mike Halpert, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center deputy director, said Thursday in a media teleconference.

“The northern part of Colorado will go toward wet. A fair amount of the state falls into the ‘equal chances’ category,” Halpert said.

The middle of the country is the dividing line, so Colorado and middle America are considered equal chance – meaning there is not a strong enough climate signal to shift the odds one direction or the other.

Colorado and other similar states can expect equal chances of above, near or below normal temperatures and precipitation.

Part of the forecast relies on computer simulation. At this point, the computer forecast is leaning toward La Niña, Halpert said, abnormally cool water around the equator in the Pacific Ocean that can influence weather patterns worldwide.

According to a forecasters’ press release Thursday, La Niña has a 55 to 65 percent chance of developing before winter starts.

Regarding snowfall, “NOAA is not issuing snow forecasts at this time. La Niña winters typically see less snow,” said Halpert.

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