SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — As December started, temperatures in the Coastal Empire and Low Country were feeling like the middle of winter. These conditions are not representative of what we will be experiencing though the rest of the winter season overall.
This is good news if you love warm weather!
Long-range weather patterns are indicating that the southeastern United States will have temperatures that are in general above average and conditions that will be drier than what we typically have during the winter.
Now this does not mean we will not have any more bouts of cold air moving in. It just means that it will be a little less likely. You will be able to save some money on the heating bill though
For meteorologists to make long-range or seasonal forecast, we have to look at global weather patterns.
You may hear us sometimes talking about El Nino or La Nina, especially when talking about if we can expect an active hurricane season or a quiet season, but these patterns also have a profound effect on winter conditions.
The overall pattern is called the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which describes the current state equatorial sea surface temperatures in the Pacific. El Nino is when there is warmer than normal water and La Nina is close to normal or cooler than normal water temperatures
Right now, the ENSO is in a fairly strong La Nina phase which aided in the Atlantic hurricane season being very active. For the U.S., La Nina events helps a dry and warm pattern to setup in the southern states.
There will still be plenty of opportunities for strong storm systems to bring us cold air and even rain and storms. Oftentimes though since it becomes a little harder for fronts to move south, it becomes a little warmer and becomes drier in between storm systems.
Savannah Rain Average Per Winter Month:
- December: 2.95″
- January: 3.69″
- February: 2.79″
- Total: 9.43″
Drought Development Likely
With drier than normal conditions, it is likely that our lawns will become a little crunchier than we have become use to since the summer and fall were so wet.
Across the southeast, over the past several weeks conditions have been a little drier than normal. With the dry trend expected to continue, it is likely that drought conditions will develop in Georgia and South Carolina.
In the southwestern and western U.S., it is expected that drought conditions will continue or even become worse. This will only add to the already bad fire weather conditions in places like southern California.
This drier pattern will likely also extend into the spring growing season as well.