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Winter Forecast 2018-2019 for Montana

Posted at 1:55 PM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 15:55:20-04

This winter season should not be as harsh as last year. According to NOAA and the Climate Prediction Center’s winter season outlook this year a weak El Nino is likely to develop by early December.

CPC has a 75% chance that an El Nino will develop and will likely have impacts on temperature and precipitation trends across the country.

What is an El Nino? Climate and weather trends can be greatly influenced on what occurs along the equatorial pacific. We closely monitor sea surface temperatures and when they warm up an El Nino develops. Just the opposite when a La Nina develops.

This alters normal weather and climate patterns during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season.

When analyzing such events we rank the intensity into 3 categories. Weak, Moderate or Strong. The weaker the event the lower confidence and the stronger the event equals a higher confidence.

El Nino Categories

This year’s El Nino should fall into the weak category. So this typically means for Montana there will be several Arctic cold snaps and several strong snow events but they should be fewer compared to last year. A greater variety of temperature and precipitation trends are likely.

Winter Temperature Outlook

CPC gives most of the country a 30% to 50% chance for slightly warmer than normal temperatures this winter season including Montana.

Winter Precipitation Outlook

Precipitation trends for Montana will likely be slightly drier than normal this winter season. CPC gives us a 40% chance for below normal precipitation.


NOAA’s official winter forecast: CLICK HERE