Pacific Northwest/Northern Rockies Seasonal Outlook using below graphics
(Updated November 25, 2017. Graphics updated November 16, 2017)
Below is the Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) 3 month outlook for the winter months of December, January and February for the country. For our area, the official outlook calls for slightly greater odds of below average temperatures and greater odds of above average precipitation. In laymans terms, that means they have some confidence in cooler than normal temperatures developing and greater confidence in wetter than normal conditions developing. The signals in the Pacific with a strengthening La Nina being one of the clearest signals would seem to indicate greater odds of below average temperatures and above average precipitation for our region. The winter months, while historically are a wetter time of year for our region, it is not the wettest time of year with that being Spring and Fall when the storm track is more directly aimed at our region. During the winter, storms tend to be more focused to our south. According to the CPC they believe that storms will be focused further north and thereby indicating that we may see more precipitation than we usually do. As for the prediction earlier from the CPC for favoring above average temperatures and above average precipitation for the fall months, that has, in fact been the case for our region. Even with the abundance of early season snowfall in the valleys at the beginning of November, our overall temperatures have been warmer than average. It certainly has been wetter than average as well. It appears that conditions are beginning to transition into a more winter-like pattern so I have fairly high confidence in our region seeing temperatures and precipitation more reflective of what CPC has displayed below. I will have more updates specifically to how I think our winter here in Lincoln and Sanders Counties will go in the next few days in the "Articles" section of the web page so check back.