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NOAA: Warmer, drier winter expected for the Big Bend, South Georgia

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Big Bend and South Georgia will have a decent chance of experiencing a winter that will be more like shorts, short-sleeve shirts and cold-coffee beverages.

NOAA released their seasonal outlook last week, which called for a greater than 50% chance of above normal temperatures in the viewing area between December and February. With rainfall, the prediction is leaning towards below normal. The cooler and wetter weather will be over the Pacific Northwest, while wetter conditions will be over the Great Lakes.

They arrived at the forecast not by fortune-telling, witchcraft, shaking Magic 8-Balls or using a certain Almanac. The main driver of reasoning, according to NOAA, is the anticipated La Niña.

Like El Niño, La Niña is an atmospheric-oceanic connection that shifts every few months or years. Instead of the El Niño pattern that has warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures off off the South American Pacific coast near the equator, the trade winds become stronger with La Niña and allow more upwelling and decrease the water temperatures. The chance, in essence, forces the jet stream farther north across the Pacific Northwest and into the Great Lakes. The more-northern jet stream keeps the storm systems and colder air away from the South, overall.

The La Niña (left) and El Niño (right) typical patterns in North America (via NOAA).
The La Niña (left) and El Niño (right) typical patterns in North America (via NOAA).(NOAA)

A word of caution: The expected pattern doesn’t mean that the weather will never get cold or that the South will never see rainfall. The outlook stated that the odds are good that the overall season will be warmer than drier than normal. There could be a chance that Santa may pay a visit wearing a tank top and shorts (sorry, kids).

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