Chicago Weather

NOAA Releases Winter Predictions. Here's What They Expect in the Midwest

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Winter is coming, Chicago.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its outlook for the upcoming winter season, and it would appear the forecast for the Chicago area is just what residents might expect: still up in the air.

But there are some predictions to note.

While the weather agency has a strong outlook for portions of the country, forecasting warmer-than-average conditions across the Southern tier of the U.S. and much of the Eastern U.S., the predictions aren't quite as strong when it comes to temperatures for the Great Lakes.

According to the NOAA, parts of the Great Lakes have "equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures." Much of the Chicago area appears to trend toward above-average temps.

But what stands out in the projection is the precipitation.

The Great Lakes has some of the greatest chances for wetter-than-average conditions, according to NOAA, though the agency notes it does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations as "snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance."

The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said the forecast is for December 2021 through February 2022, though it updates its three-month outlook each month.

The predictions come as La Nina conditions emerge for the second year in a row.

“Consistent with typical La Nina conditions during winter months, we anticipate below-normal temperatures along portions of the northern tier of the U.S. while much of the South experiences above-normal temperatures,” Jon Gottschalck, chief of the Operational Prediction Branch in the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement. “The Southwest will certainly remain a region of concern as we anticipate below-normal precipitation where drought conditions continue in most areas.”

Over the summer, the Farmers' Almanac predicted Chicago and the surrounding area would likely see an "icky, flaky" and cold winter.

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