RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Climate Prediction Center released their winter weather outlook for the 2023-2024 winter season Thursday.
El Nino has developed and will be in place for winter for the first time in four years. This means that much of the northern portion of the continental United States is expected to be warmer than average. Part of that warmer-than-average section does stretch south and includes North Carolina. This does not mean every day this winter will be warm, it just means on average through the months of December, January and February, temperatures may be slightly warmer than average. (For perspective, our 30-year average temperature for winter in the Triangle is 43.8 degrees. This includes both the morning lows and afternoon highs for the months of December, January and February.)
In terms of precipitation, while the northern United States are expected to have a drier than average winter, across the south and especially here in the southeast, are expecting a wetter than average winter. This would be good news for the persistent drought that has been impacting much of the Gulf Coast. While a wetter-than-average winter is expected across the south, this precipitation outlook does not include any outlook on snow, due to the fact that snow events can only be accurately forecast a week or less in advance.
If you want to read the full outlook, and learn how they came up with it, you can find it here.