AUSTIN - The Climate Prediction Center has released their three-month weather outlook, and a returning La Niña could play a big role for our winter weather here in Central Texas.
Here's what's happening now, the waters along the Equatorial Pacific are cooling. That trend could mean the return of La Niña.
La Niña usually means a drier and warmer weather pattern than normal for Texas. The cooler than normal waters along the equator in the Pacific allows for the jet stream to build farther north of Texas, limiting the frequency of the storm track to bring Texas rain and cold air in the winter months.
Using that information, the Climate Prediction Center's three-month outlook is hinting at a warmer than average winter and a drier than average winter.
Here's the important part: That forecast doesn't mean that we'll experience warm weather all winter long. We'll still experience polar and arctic cold fronts, freezing temperatures, and possibly winter precipitation. The take away from this forecast is that those really cold and/or wet days may be limited.
Average temperatures are calculated for winter by adding up every high and low temperature from Dec. 1 to March 1 and averaging that number. If that number is even one tenth of a degree above the 30 year average, it's deemed an above average winter.
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