NOAA recently released their official winter outlook for winter 2017/18.
They’re basically just saying “Equal Chances” for the entire USA all winter long which is about the same as saying “we have no idea.”
Don’t get me wrong, NOAA is great. Really great. But their long term winter forecasting hasn’t been impressive the past 5 years. Nobody’s has. But that doesn’t stop all of us from getting excited about seeing a winter forecast in July and it never will.
NOAA admits themselves that they didn’t nail their 2016/17 winter outlook in an article they wrote here:
One of these years, it’d be amazing to see someone get a long range winter forecast right. That would be something to truly get excited about… Until then, we’ll have to continue to read NOAA quotes like the one below explaining that they aren’t expecting El Nino (ENSO) nor La Nina this winter leading them to go with “Equal Chances” nearly everywhere.
Here is what NOAA is saying about their very blah 2017/18 winter outlook:
SINCE THE PREVIOUS OUTLOOK, THE CHANCES FOR EL NINO DEVELOPMENT DURING THE AUTUMN AND WINTER HAVE DECREASED. GIVEN THE LATEST ENSO FORECAST INDICATING A GREATER CHANCE OF ENSO-NEUTRAL CONDITIONS THROUGH THE WINTER, THE INCREASED CHANCES FOR BELOW MEDIAN PRECIPITATION FOR PARTS OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES IN Nov/Dec/Jan AND Dec/Jan/Feb 2017-2018 HAVE BEEN REMOVED. PRECIPITATION OUTLOOKS FROM JFM THROUGH Feb/Mar/Apr 2018 ARE BASED ON THE SEASONAL PRECIPITATION CONSOLIDATION FORECAST AND DECADAL TRENDS. - NOAA on July 20th, 2017
This Outlook Calls for Equal Chances for Snow In:
“Equal Chances” basically means “I Don’t Know” in weather terms.
“In regions where the forecasters have no forecast tools which favor the chance of either Above Average or Below Average, the chance of these two categories is defined to be 33.33% each, and the region is labeled “EC”, which stands for equal chances.” – NOAA
This Outlook Calls For Above Average Snow In:
This Outlook Calls For Below Average Snow In:
This Outlook Calls For Below Average Temperatures In:
This Outlook Calls For Above Average Temperatures In: