Little change in sea-surface temperatures has been observed across the equatorial Pacific Ocean during the past month, indicating that the ENSO phase remains neutral. Slightly warmer than average sea-surface temperatures persist across parts of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific, and many of the latest long-range climate models continue to forecast the development of El Nino within the next month or two.
The temperature forecast for late fall and winter likely will be based largely on El Nino’s being in place. As for November, several climate indices suggest slightly warmer than normal temperatures across portions of the north-central plains, Midwest, and western Great Lakes. The developing El Nino, as well as the ongoing drought across much of these regions, could help provide warmer conditions. Heating degree-day deficits of between 30 and 60 are projected.
Heating costs also are forecast to be lower than average during this period. On the flip side, slightly cooler than normal November temperatures are possible across parts of the Pacific Northwest, Southeast and eastern Gulf Coast. The periods of cooler conditions in the Southeast likely would be the results of a more active and wetter weather pattern, which is common during an El Nino phase. Small surpluses of early season heating degree-days are projected across these regions. The rest of the western U.S., as well as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, are expected to see temperatures that average closer to normal.