La Nina dominates Winter '11-'12 Outlook

 

The outlook for the winter of 2011-2012 does not bear good news for folks on either side of the Red River.
A strengthening La Nina pattern is becoming more likely, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The map above shows what a typical La Nina brings to the country:
  • More than snow than average to the Great Lakes
  • More rain than average to the Pacific Northwest, and heavy snow to the mountains of Washington, Oregon and Idaho
  • Very dry weather for the southwestern U.S.
  • Warmer and drier than average weather for the southern Plains which includes Texoma
NOAA does offer an asterisk this year: A recurring pattern known as the Arctic Oscillation (AO) could send a few very cold shots to locations from the Rockies eastward (which includes us), and these sometimes bring snow as well.  Each "cycle" of the AO can only be identified about 7 to 10 days in advance.
However, day-to-day conditions will likely be drier and warmer than those of a typical Texoma winter.
Of course this forecast is very bad news for a region that’s had its worst drought on record during the past 12 months.
So what does this mean for the landscape?
  1. Lake levels and river flows will remain well below average
  2. Soils will continue dry with high fire danger persisting
  3. Snow events are less likely than average this winter (but still possible)
  4. Warm winters are often associated with more wind than usual
Take Care,
Steve LaNore
Chief Meteorologist
KXII-TV
 
 
 
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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by GW Location: Sadler on Nov 10, 2011 at 10:57 AM
    When is it probable that we return to normal or above rainfall? Best guess.
  • by Steve LaNore Location: KXII-TV on Oct 27, 2011 at 03:39 PM
    Friends, I can hunt at night with a shotgun (and no flashlight) and hit something once in a while; that doesn't mean it’s the best way to do it. I suspect seeds, animal fur and such things may appear to "work" as a predictor sometimes, but then we forget when they don't. Anyhow, for what it's worth I'll keep my maps, models, radar and satellite loops until something better is PROVEN to work better. -:) Much thanks for the compliment Frankie, but I’m way short of worthy for such a title. It made me smile though….. Take Care, Steve
  • by Frankie Location: Bugtussle on Oct 26, 2011 at 02:58 PM
    We have no need of El Nino, La Nina, or even La Normo when we have the great La Nore :) Your the best Steve
  • by Junior Location: Bells on Oct 24, 2011 at 08:24 PM
    El Nino - La Nina.......What we need is some cotton-pickin' La Normo.
  • by Fonzie Location: Bugtussle on Oct 24, 2011 at 09:08 AM
    Yes...but La Nina years were here last year and the year before.....The last two years we have had WAY ABOVE NORMAL SNOWFALL in our winter months, and even into spring 2 years ago. I do understand that moisture content of snow is much lower than rain, obviously, and even when we get big snowfall events, there's not that much moisture with it for the most part. I also understand trends and forecast models on what you typically expect during a La Nina or el Nino trend....but my confidence level is very low at these "long range" outlooks. AND you never said anything about it the last two years Steve, but the persimmon seeds have been correct the last two years and are predicting above normal snowfall again this year.
  • by Jon Location: Denison on Oct 20, 2011 at 09:33 PM
    not good news for us. this year has been especially hard on all of Texoma including the firemen who battle the wildfires almost on a daily basis. I hope rain or snow will prevail over dry conditions. WE already lost a lot of trees this year. - thanks.
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