During the past couple of months, the current La Nina phase has maintained its strength across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. Sea-surface temperatures continue to run cooler than average by about 1 to 2 degrees in most areas. At the present time, long-range climate models indicate that this La Nina will persist through at least spring. This ongoing La Nina will be a significant factor in the temperature outlooks for winter.
As a result, total heating degree-days as well as energy costs with respect to heating are projected to be slightly higher than normal across these portions of the country during late fall into early winter. Meanwhile, several climate indices, in addition to the persistent La Nina, point to warmer than average conditions across a good part of the central United States, including portions of the Midwest, plains states, lower Mississippi Valley, and southern Rockies.
Average heating costs are expected to be lower than normal across these regions of the country during the next couple of months. Right now, it appears that much of the Great Lakes and East Coast will see temperatures that average closer to normal during November and December. EJS Weather Inc.