Wondering what to expect as the calendar flips from January to February next week? The long-range forecast is predicting that El Niño will remain the guiding influence on the last full month of winter. However, will El Niño's influence continue into the start of spring or will this climate phase begin to lose its grip? Read on for the details.
Overall Picture Heading Into Spring
North America has been under the influence of a strong El Niño climate phase since last summer. In a typical El Niño phase, you can expect wetter than average conditions for the West Coast and for the southern portions of the U.S. This is particularly true for the Southeast. This is because El Niño tends to bring the jet stream to the south while also pushing it to the east. As has been the case this winter, these portions of the country have seen greater than average rainfall amounts.
However, the long-range forecast is predicting that El Niño will begin to weaken as the spring season inches closer. What will this mean for the overall weather patterns across the U.S?
The short story is that a large portion of the nation, including the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountain region, the Northern and Central Plains, the Upper Midwest, and New England should expect to see temperatures that trend above average in February, March, and April. The southern U.S. and the mid-Atlantic will likely hover at near average. There are no parts of the country that are likely to fall below average when looking at the three-month stretch as a whole.