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Livestock Wx for 11-15-18: December-January-February Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks
SPONSORED CONTENT If today is the third Thursday of the month then that means NOAA has updated its seasonal (three month) temperature and precipitation outlooks. The temperature outlook (see image below) shows enhanced odds above-normal temperatures for a large part of the west and central parts of the country. Texas, Oklahoma, and most of the east, however, are in Equal Chances, which means there is very little signal indicating a tilt in the odds one way or the other.
For precipitation, there are enhanced odds of above-normal precipitation through the winter for most of the southern-tier of the country. The models are still showing a classic El Niño pattern, but care should be taken interpreting the precipitation outlook. So far, Texas has experienced its wettest October on record and this was in part influenced by the developing El Niño and the tropical storms moving across Mexico and interacting with stalled fronts over the Gulf of Mexico. But, the current models are still predicting a weak or moderate El Niño, which will likely not have the power to influence the atmosphere in a major way. That means there are other things that could influence the atmosphere and we don’t always have a good handle on those. Unfortunately, we might have to take a wait and see approach.
Status of El Niño
The sea surface temperatures in the Tropical Eastern Pacific and the subsurface waters continue to be warmer than average. The atmospheric variables that are also used to track El Niño, however, are not trending the same way and at present are more indicative of a neutral pattern. The El Niño forecast, though, still shows an 80% chance of El Niño forming sometime this winter, and a 55-60% chance of continuing into spring 2019.
Over the next week, the accumulated rainfall forecast shows over an inch and up to 3 inches along the Gulf Coast and into the Coastal Plain. The largest totals will be hitting areas like Lake Jackson, which has received 10-15 inches of rainfall in the last 30-days.