NOAA 2002-R237
Contact: Ron Trumbla
NOAA News Releases 2002
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El Niño is expected to bring increased storminess and above-normal precipitation to the southern United States this winter, according to meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service’s (NOAA Weather Service) Climate Prediction Center (CPC). NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

Gerry Bell, a CPC meteorologist, today joined NOAA Weather Service Southern Region Director Bill Proenza and Scientific Services Deputy Chief Bernard Meisner, at a climate briefing for local and regional officials, emergency managers and NOAA Weather Service personnel. The briefing was held at NOAA Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The present El Niño is expected to bring more snow to the Southern Plains, Texas Panhandle and the mountains of the Southwest this winter,” said Proenza. “The likelihood of above-normal precipitation is welcomed because it will help to alleviate the severe drought conditions and wildfire threat that has plagued the southwestern United States in recent months,” he added.

The NOAA Weather Service’s CPC winter weather outlook calls for more moderate temperatures and reduced storminess across the northern states this winter; warmer and drier-than-average conditions in the northern Rockies and Ohio Valley states; and, the possibility of increased stormy weather along the East Coast.

“Increased scientific understanding and careful monitoring has resulted in more accurate El Niño outlooks,” said Meisner. “We now have real time atmospheric and oceanographic data from satellites and a network of buoys located along the equatorial Pacific Ocean as well as sophisticated computer models to help assimilate the data. This helps people to prepare for and minimize the impacts.”

One of the NOAA Weather Service National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), CPC is responsible for issuing seasonal climate outlooks for one to 13 months into the future.

NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NOAA Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

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