Winter 2013-2014 Outlook
The official outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/) for
the winter of 2013-2014 for northern and eastern Maine calls for an increased likelihood of above
normal temperatures. There are no strong climate signals that point toward an unusually wet
(snowy) or dry winter.
Without either El Niño or La Niña present, we often use recent climate trends
to get insight about what might arise. The average of the past 15 winters has been warmer than
average for all of the winters between 1981-2010 across Maine. This is what tilts the odds in
favor of a warmer than normal winter. It is important to keep in mind that this is a forecast
for the average temperature for the entire meteorological winter (December through February).
It does not mean that there will not be a period(s) of extreme cold, just that odds favor that the
average temperature for the entire winter will be above normal. It is also important to point out
that in the absence of El Niño or La Niña that the skill in making these seasonal
forecasts is much lower than when there is a moderate or strong El Niño or La Niña as
we head into the winter.
Patterns that can strongly influence our winter weather, such as the Arctic Oscillation,
are just not predictable on time scales beyond a week or two. These atmospheric patterns can change
from week to week and have the potential to deliver cold, snowy weather throughout the winter
Images courtesy of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center