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2013-2014 Weather Authority Winter Weather Outlook

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By Brian Neudorff

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Putting together a seasonal outlook is very different and more complicated than making our daily weather forecasts. It is less about specifics and more about trends and how temperatures and precipitation will average out over several months.

When putting together a winter outlook we look at the following:

1) El Nino or La Nina will development in the Pacific ocean. This is abnormal warming or cooling of sea surface temperatures along the equator in the eastern Pacific. This warming and cooling can play a major role in the kind of winters we see across the Pacific Northwest. This winter a neutral pattern or a non El Nino or La Nina will be in place meaning average sea surface temperatures.

2) Abnormal warming and cooling in other parts of the Ocean. One of the big players for us this year will be the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO. This is a more long term warming and cooling of the northern and tropical Pacific Ocean. Over the last several years the PDO has been in a negative stage or cooler than average water temperatures
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3) Finally we look back at previous winters that have experienced similar neutral El Nino with a negative PDO. Looking at how these winters were back in history can give us a general idea of what we might expect here in Southern Idaho.

The winter of 2013-2014 will feature a near neutral to weak El Nino along with a negative PDO. The coldest air across the United States should set up across the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest and parts of the Northeast this winter with warmer than average temperatures from California through the southwest, along the Gulf Coast and into Florida.

Expect above average rain and snow across the Ohio valley and the Great Lakes with a drier than average winter from Washington down through California and across the Southern United States this winter.
Southern Idaho should expect near average temperatures this winter with swings of colder than average to warmer than average temperatures.

The precipitation outlook is near or slightly below average. That is not something farmers want to hear. It doesn’t mean we won’t get snow or our typical snow pack, we just won’t see snow in excess.

The current off and on stormy pattern we’re currently experiencing could continue into the winter. This is a very challenging forecast and a lot could change between now and the end of winter. We will keep you updated of any of these patterns change as we go through the winter season


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