A weak La Nina phase is persisting with slightly cooler than average sea-surface temperatures observed across parts of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. The latest long-range climate models indicate that this weak La Nina will persist through the winter months.
Due to this weak La Nina and the possibility of a negative NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), slightly colder than average temperatures are being forecast throughout portions of the Midwest, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, and Northeast during the month of January.
As a result, a surplus of monthly heating degree days of between 30 and 60 is projected across these regions of the country. Energy costs with respect to heating will also likely be at least slightly higher than average in these areas in January.
In contrast, parts of southern United States, including Texas and the Gulf Coast, are predicted to see temperatures average slightly warmer than normal in January. These areas will likely see total monthly heating degree day deficits of between 20 and 50 and slightly below average heating costs. Much of the western United States is expected to see temperatures, which on a whole, average closer to normal during the month of January.