NOAA updated its winter forecasts during the past week, and the updated version does not offer much help when it comes to dry conditions in the western Corn Belt and the Plains.
The forecast calls for the Pacific to have a neutral temperature and pressure pattern--meaning neither El Nino nor La Nina--during the meteorological winter season of December-January-February. Because of that, the forecast is described as "highly uncertain", but the "uncertain" part is not tied in with "better precipitation".
The outlook features above normal temperatures across the western U.S., from the southern Plains to the western Gulf Coast, and then west through the Rockies and the Great Basin. This forecast keeps southwestern Kansas, most of Oklahoma and all of Texas in the above-normal temperature area. Below-normal temperatures are forecast for the far northern Plains and northern Midwest, along with the Florida Peninsula. Otherwise, the famous "equal chances" of above/below/normal temperatures are in effect.
On the precipitation side, the mid-South region of the Missouri Bootheel, Delta, Tennessee Valley, and immediate Ohio Valley have above-normal amounts indicated. Everywhere else, the outlook is for "equal chances" of above/normal/below precipitation.
Again--this is not a favorable scenario for offering an improved outlook for moisture. And just to reiterate--60 percent of the contiguous U.S. has moderate to exceptional drought (Stage 1 to 4) in effect going into late November.
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