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Is another snowy winter on the way?

After seeing winter weather multiple times last year, the latest predictions are out for this winter. Right now, things are looking warm.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The month of November was off to a warm start and warm might honestly be an understatement, we were breaking records here in Columbia. The period of November 1st through the 12th was the hottest temperature ever recorded with an average temperature of 67.5 degrees. That takes into account our low and high temperatures. Of course this week a much different story, our temperatures have fallen drastically and that average temperature will be around 10, maybe even 15 degrees colder than what we have seen the last few weeks. With it feeling like winter, we are actually getting closer to the start of meteorological winter, that’s on December 1st, but can we expect this cold weather to last into the winter months?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has put out their thoughts on this upcoming winter. Starting with temperatures, they are favoring warmer conditions for a large part of the US. That includes here in the southeast. Precipitation follows a similar trend with the lower half of the country expected to see drier conditions over the course of the season.

Credit: WLTX
Credit: WLTX

The main reasoning behind all of this? La Nina, a global ocean pattern that can influence our weather. Looking at the Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of South America are colder than average, this is known as La Nina. This has been in place for 2 years now and NOAA is expecting this to continue for a 3rd year. The first time we have seen this this century.

Credit: WLTX

Why is this important? These colder waters influence the overall pattern which typically sees the Jet stream surging north over the Pacific with only slight troughing over the East which keeps colder air to our north.

Credit: WLTX

Even though we these clues to what we might be expecting for the upcoming season, this might not actually end up being the case for what we see. Last year was a La Nina year and we picked up measurable snow in the Midlands for the first time in years.

While we cannot predict things like snow this far out, temperatures patterns are a bit easier to detect especially as we get into the winter months.

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