COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Flooding rains, unseasonably warm temperatures, snow, ice, and severe storms and tornadoes are just a few of the kinds of weather we may experience during the winter months of December, January, and February here in the Chattahoochee Valley.
Just recently, the experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued their official seasonal forecast for the United States.
When it comes to temperatures, most of the country should enjoy some above average weather when it comes to December, January, and February.
Here in the Deep South, there's about a 40 percent chance of it being above average. When it comes to the rain and snow situation, it looks like most of the Southeast will end up being a bit drier than average this winter, with some wetter than average conditions expected over the Rocky Mountain states.
This kind of outlook, warmer and drier than average, is typical of a developing La Nina. Now you may have heard of the term El Nino, but what is La Nina?
It's when waters off the west coast of South America cool down well below average; that can disrupt normal weather patterns across the globe.
With the jet stream shifting north and not making as many dives to the south, that can keep the southeastern United States warmer and drier than average during the winter.
So just what are the averages around here anyway?
During December, January, and February, the highs range from 57 to 65 degrees. The coolest readings will come during the month of January. The overnight lows range from 37 to 43 degrees with the coolest readings again coming during the month of January.
Remember that it is never supposed to 'get cold and stay cold' around here in the winter as some may think. We will continue to see warm periods at times, with highs perhaps into the 70s and 80s.
We will also deal with cold snaps, but they just may not be long-lasting given this type of weather pattern.
Remember, just because we are heading into the cooler months, that doesn't mean severe weather takes a break.
Both Alabama and Georgia fall into the top ten for states that experience tornadoes in December, January, and February.
We can never let our guard down when it comes to severe weather.
Always make sure you and your family have a way to get watches and warnings like the free WTVM weather app and a plan of what to do in case a warning is issued.