As days get shorter and temperatures begin to drop, we are reminded that winter is not too far away. In preparation for the colder months, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center has issued their U.S. winter outlook.

The report predicts that La Nina will affect weather patterns and forecasts a drier, warmer winter in the southern US with wetter, cooler conditions in the north. The report emphasizes the likelihood of La Nina developing in late fall or early winter but remaining week and not lasting too long. The purpose of this report is to help citizens and businesses prepare for certain conditions and serve as a general reminder that winter is coming.

The full winter outlook can be found here and a brief synopsis provided by the Insurance Journal is below. As always, it is vital that insurers, businesses, and the general population are prepared for whatever winter 2016 has in store with proper response mechanisms waiting.

Winter Outlook


  • Wetter than normal conditions are most likely in the northern Rockies, around the Great Lakes, in Hawaii and in western Alaska
  • Drier than normal conditions are most likely across the entire southern U.S. and southern Alaska.


  • Warmer than normal conditions are most likely across the southern U.S., extending northward through the central Rockies, in Hawaii, in western and northern Alaska and in northern New England.
  • Cooler conditions are most likely across the northern tier from Montana to western Michigan.
  • The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning that there is not a strong enough climate signal in these areas to shift the odds, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.


  • Drought will likely persist through the winter in most regions currently experiencing drought, including much of California and the Southwest.
  • Drought is expected to persist and spread in the southeastern U.S. and develop in the southern Plains.
  • New England will see a mixed bag, with drought improvement in the western parts and persistence to the east.
  • Drought improvement is anticipated in northern California, the northern Rockies, the northern Plains and parts of the Ohio Valley.


Source NOAA and Insurance Journal