Oct 24, 2023 - Climate

Boston's looking at a wet winter

Winter 2023-24 precipitation outlook
Data: NOAA; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Weather forecasters are warning of higher than average temperatures and more precipitation than usual this winter.

Why it matters: We could be in for a rainy season if temperatures don't drop enough to make much snow.

By the numbers: There's a 33% greater chance of precipitation and a 40% greater chance of warmer-than-average temps in Massachusetts this coming winter, Axios Generate's Andrew Freedman writes, based on a NOAA outlook.

Zoom out: There are higher-than-average odds for unusually mild temperatures across much of the Lower 48 states, particularly along the northern tier and into the Northeast, as well as in northern Alaska, per NOAA.

  • However, this will not necessarily translate to a lack of snow.
Winter 2023-24 temperature outlook
Data: NOAA; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The big picture: Nationally, the combination of a strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean and record high global ocean temperatures are likely to shape the upcoming winter season in potentially unexpected ways.

The intrigue: It's not yet clear how record warm global average temperatures will tip the scales in terms of U.S. air temperature and precipitation trends this winter. But they do raise the threat for some surprises, potentially in the form of extreme weather events.

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