Watching For A Developing La Nina

Sea-surface temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean have continued to cool slightly over the past month and are running slightly cooler than average. This cooling trend is likely an indicator that a La Nina phase is beginning to develop.

Most of the latest long-range climate models show about a 60 percent chance of a La Nina developing during the fall and winter months. If and when this La Nina develops and how strong it gets will play a role in what kind of winter parts of the United States will see.

As for the November temperature outlook, slightly above normal conditions are forecast across portions of Texas, the southern Rockies, and the Desert Southwest. Slightly warmer than normal temperatures are also projected throughout parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast during the month of November based on the developing La Nina and the possibility of the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) becoming positive over the next month.

A deficit of total monthly heating degree days of between 20 and 60 is expected across these regions of the United States in November. Early-season energy costs with respect to heating will also likely be somewhat lower across these areas. Much of the rest of the U.S. is forecast to see temperatures average closer to normal. 

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