The NWS released their new monthly and seasonal outlooks today. For January they are calling for an increased chance of above average temperatures for Illinois. Much of Illinois has an increased chance of above average precipitation as well.
The January-March outlook for Illinois is for an increased chance of above average precipitation and above average temperatures.
If you were not looking forward to a repeat of last year’s winter, this is good news. An increased chance of above average temperatures does not mean you will be playing golf in Illinois in mid-January. But it puts you in better shape than January 2011, which came in at 3 degrees below average.
Why the more upbeat forecast? The current La Niña event occurring in the Pacific has been much weaker than expected, and forecasted to stay so for the rest of the winter. These new forecasts for temperature and precipitation reflect the weaker La Niña event. As noted in an earlier post, November was the sixth wettest and ninth warmest on record. And the first half of December has been above average on temperature and precipitation in most locations.