NWS UPDATE: Winter Outlook Released

From: National Weather Service, Fort Worth
Date: Thursday, 18 October 2018 14:39 CDT


Many of you are still dealing with flooding issues or preparing for our next round of rain starting tonight and tomorrow, but I wanted to take a minute to share the following winter-related information. Please reach out to me or the office if you have any questions.

The 2018-2019 winter outlook has been released. Here are the highlights and what it may mean for North and Central Texas:

  • 70-75% chance of a weak El Nino developing by late fall/early winter
    • El Nino is an ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that is linked to periodic warming in sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.
    • Some weak El Nino years have resulted in more winter weather events than usual over North and Central Texas. Winter events require both moisture and cold air at the same time. Moisture is more likely in El Nino years, however arctic air can be more infrequent in El Nino years.
    • This does not necessarily mean we will have more winter weather events. To determine that, we have to watch for weather patterns that brings arctic cold fronts this far south, but these are not predictable until 7-14 days in advance.

  • Precipitation is more likely to be above normal for December-February for North and Central Texas

Precipitation Outlook

  • Average temperatures for North and Central Texas have a slightly higher chance of being above normal
    • Historically during weak El Nino years, the daytime highs are cooler than average, but the overnight lows are warmer than normal.
    • This does not mean we won’t get arctic outbreaks of cold air, but they tend to be less frequent and less severe in El Nino years.

Temperature Outlook

The next graph illustrates the average number of freezes in each ENSO pattern:

ENSO Freezes

In summary, NWS Fort Worth is anticipating wetter-than-normal conditions this winter, but we will be monitoring the temperature trends throughout the winter to give as much advanced notice as possible for winter weather events.

You can read the full press release here: www.noaa.gov/media-release/winter-outlook-favors-warmer-temperatures-for-much-of-us

Additional Resources

National Weather Service Fort Worth Homepage

Hourly Forecasts (Click your location)

National Weather Service Fort Worth Weather Tabs

National Weather Service Fort Worth Hazard Pages


Who’s eligible for NWSChat

Jennifer Dunn
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
National Weather Service Fort Worth, TX

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Twitter: @NWSFortWorth