All indications are that the current La Nina phase is maintaining strength. Sea-surface temperatures across much of the Equatorial Pacific continue to run between 1 and 2 degrees cooler than average.
Long-range climate models continue to suggest that this current La Nina will persist through at least spring. The monthly temperature outlooks continue to be based largely on this ongoing strong La Nina event.
Slightly cooler than average February temperatures are expected across portions of the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, northern plains and upper Midwest. A surplus of total heating degree-days of between 30 and 90 is predicted throughout these regions. Energy costs with respect to heating likely will be higher than normal across these areas.
Meanwhile, the Desert Southwest, southern plains and lower Mississippi Valley are forecasted to see temperatures average slightly warmer than normal during February. The number of total heating degree-days along with energy costs are expected to be lower than average across these regions.
Much of the eastern third of the country is expected to see temperatures average closer to normal. If the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) remains negative, however, there is a greater chance that portions of the eastern United States will see colder than normal conditions.