Sea surface temperatures throughout much of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean continue to be cooler than average by about one to two degrees. This indicates that the current La Nina phase is persisting as expected. The latest long-range climate models suggest that this La Nina will remain in place through the rest of winter and into the first half of spring. These climate models have about a 50% chance of this La Nina transitioning into a neutral phase during the late spring and summer.
As for the February temperature outlook, slightly above normal temperatures are forecast across parts of the Desert Southwest, southern Rockies, southern Plains, and lower Mississippi Valley.Total monthly heating degree day deficits of between 20 and 50 are projected in the these regions of the United States during February. Energy costs with respect to heating will also likely be somewhat lower than average. In contrast, temperatures are predicted to average slightly below normal in February across portions of the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, northern Plains, and upper Midwest. A surplus of monthly heating degree days of between 20 and 60 is expected throughout the parts of the country. Much of the East Coast as well as from the central Rockies to California will likely see temperatures that on a whole average closer to normal in February.