Many of the latest long-range climate models and indices indicate that slightly warmer than normal February temperatures are likely across parts of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies.
As a result, these regions are projected to see slightly lower heating costs and a bit of a deficit when it comes to total monthly heating degree-days. On the flip side, temperatures on a whole are forecast to be slightly below normal across portions of the southern Plains, Tennessee Valley and Deep South.
There are some indications that parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest also might see slightly cooler than normal February temperatures. These areas likely will see at least slightly higher heating costs and surpluses of total monthly heating degree-days of between 20 and 60.
Much of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes will see temperatures that overall average closer to normal. As for the possibility of the development of at least a weak El Nino, the latest climate models have increased the chances to around 65 percent. During the past month, sea-surface temperature trends have not changed much in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Much of it remains slightly warmer than average, though, so a weak El Nino remains possible.