Even though winter doesn’t officially begin until Wednesday, Dec. 21, today is the first day of meteorological winter. That’s a perfect time for our weather contributor, Jackson Dill (of Jackson’s Weather) to give us his outlook for the winter. 

The winter season is closing in on our area, so I’m sure most of you are wondering what you can expect this winter season. The seasonal models have been wavering back in forth with their predictions for this coldest time of the year, but below, you will find the most likely scenarios of the forecast.

One big factor that comes into play with this seasonal forecast is the development of La Niña. If you recall last winter, there was a strong El Niño which influenced our weather then. Now this year, we have a weak La Niña, which is the equatorial cooling of the ocean waters in the Pacific. Below is the typical pattern that the United States experiences during a La Niña winter:

(Image: NOAA)

As you can see, our area and the Northeast are not really in a well defined zone for the temperature and precipitation forecast. There are other factors that play into this forecast, but I’m not going to get into that because it does get technical.

The Climate Prediction Center‘s forecast predicts an equal chance for both below- and above-average temperatures and precipitation.

I’m going to specify this a little further because I think temperatures will be around average overall for the winter season (December through February). The last week of November, including Thanksgiving, and much of December, however, are trending to be cooler than average. January may also remain on the cooler side, but February is looking like it’s going to be a warmer than average month.

In terms of precipitation, our levels of precipitation–including snowfall–should be near average. Storms are expected to track more in a west-to-east direction than an up the East Coast direction, so that means there won’t be as much moisture with these storms. It looks like that these storms will be more frequent though.

I want to remind you, this is a seasonal forecast, so this forecast is not guaranteed, but it is the most likely scenario.

Jackson Dill is a Wilton High School junior who started the website, Jackson’s Weather. His 7-day forecast will appear each Monday on GOOD Morning Wilton. Visit Jackson’s Weather to find out any changes in the forecast. You can also follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @JacksonsWeather for around-the-clock updates.