What kind of weather to expect in Ohio this winter
Temperatures rapidly plunged into freezing territory this week, but there's a heightened chance of a warmer-than-average winter in Columbus, per a new NOAA seasonal outlook.
Forecasting the news: The outlook also predicts less precipitation than average for our region this meteorological winter, which is Dec. 1-Feb. 29.
Yes, but: Don't fret, snow misers. There's still hope for you, too.
The big picture: The combination of a strong El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean and record high global ocean temperatures are likely to shape North America's upcoming winter season in potentially unexpected ways, Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.
What they're saying: "There's a lot of variability and uncertainty in the long-range forecast," meteorologist Brian Coniglio, with the National Weather Service's Wilmington, Ohio, office, tells Axios.
- That means frigid blips and snow storms are still possible locally.
- "The tendency, when we look at it over all the El Niño events, is temperatures are above normal, but that doesn't mean … we can't have a bad snow storm in the middle of the month."
Flashback: Last year, NOAA predicted a wetter winter with normal temperatures.
- But Columbus logged no measurable snowfall in February for the first time on record.
- January 2023 was also the hottest January our area had experienced in 17 years.
Context: The past two weeks are another example of classic, fluctuating Midwest weather.
- Last week was unusually balmy, including our warmest low temperature on record (62 degrees) for Oct. 27.
- By Halloween, snow flurries were falling and the daily average temperature was about 11 degrees colder than the 30-year average.
What's next: That cold snap is over. Temperatures are expected to creep up over the weekend and into next week, with a high of 68 and low of 53 on Monday.
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