The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued the predictions Thursday in its annual winter outlook.
NOAA forecasters say the forecast was difficult because neither El Niño nor La Niña is expected to influence the coming winter.
“It’s a challenge to produce a long-term winter forecast without the climate pattern of an El Niño or a La Niña in place out in the Pacific,” says Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Without their influence, winter weather is often affected by climate patterns that are not predictable beyond a week or two.
In summery, the winter outlook favors:
• Below-average precipitation in the southwest
• Above-average temperatures in the southwest
While South Texas temperatures are predicted to be above average, the area is to the east of the region where the three-year drought is forecasted to continue.
The chances are even then, about whether South Texas will experience a resumption of the drought this winter.
Curiously, the NOAA forecast is at odds with South Texas predictions by the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which calls for temperatures slightly below normal coupled with above-normal precipitation.