The latest U.S. winter outlook spells trouble for dry California and Nevada, and, of course, the West Coast. In general, the outlook is grim:
The West is headed for its fourth consecutive dry winter, with many of the same places seeing some precipitation. (Read more about what’s likely in California and Nevada.)
The Pacific Northwest, which just celebrated its 70th anniversary as a state, is in for its first snowy winter in 28 years.
The Arctic is still losing ice and is likely to be below the normal low point for this time of year by the Fourth of July.
The West Coast and the Southeast will be dry in the near future and could see a rise in wildfire activity, says James Spann, of the U.S. Forest Service.
We’ll know how wet California gets in January and February, when we hear how much snow the Southwest is likely to get in the Sierra.
Here’s the outlook:
For California, forecasters say a wet January and February is likely, but not guaranteed. They say it’s going to be warmer in January than normal. It’s also going to be dry and warm in February, forecasters say.
The first week of January is the main trigger for a wet winter for California: A low pressure system will be moving into the area and bringing heavy rain into Northern California. But, as is often the case with such weather systems, weather patterns will also play a role.
Forecasters say it’s likely that the low will stay in the area and push more rain into the state through the rest of January. They also say that the rain could make it wetter than any recent January, when the low stayed south of the state.
“January has been extremely wet, but February is just beginning,” said Spann, adding that any rain would be welcome.
As the month progresses, it will become drier, with the main trigger for that being a cold front