There is still a 65 percent chance of El Niño arriving this winter, according to the December 4 ENSO forecast released by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. My understanding is that the Pacific Ocean is warm enough to suggest that a weak El Niño event is almost here, but that the associated changes in weather patterns have not kicked in.
Even without El Niño’s arrival, the NWS 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts, as well as the forecast for all of December, all show a higher chance of above-average temperatures for this month. However, that does not mean we won’t have a few excursions into real winter weather. In fact, there is a little snow shower outside my window as I write this.
This warmer December forecast comes after we experienced the 4th coldest November on record in Illinois. Historically, there is not a strong connection between November and December temperatures.
Click on the maps below to enlarge.