FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Curtis Carey
For most of the United States, Winter 2001-02 will feel like a sequel to last year's cold season, with sharp swings in temperature and precipitation, including heavy lake-effect snows in the Northeast and Midwest, cold air outbreaks in the South, and the potential for Nor'easters along the East Coast.
At a news conference in Washington, D.C., officials from the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the nation's official winter outlook, and said the absence of a strong El Niño or La Niña climate pattern leaves the door open for a highly variable winter, which will impact the winter weather extremes such as cold, snow, rain and ice that the nation may experience.
"We don't expect a repeat of the record-breaking cold temperatures of November-December of last year, but this winter should be cooler than the warm winters of the late 1990s," said Scott Gudes, NOAA's acting administrator. "Citizens should prepare for the full range of winter weather."
Climate factors that influenced last winter will play a similar role this season. They include: the Arctic Oscillation, which influences the number of cold-air outbreaks in the South and Nor'easters on the East Coast, and the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which can impact the number of heavy rain storms in the Pacific Northwest.
"This winter, NOAA's improving technologies will help National Weather Service forecasters for the first time pinpoint when these factors will kick in and bring extreme weather," said retired General Jack Kelly, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. Kelly noted that the nation is likely to experience large temperature and precipitation swings during the winter.
The 2001-02 winter outlook will be updated
on Nov. 15, 2001. The winter outlook is available online at: