Winter outlook: warmer, but wetter

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Friday, October 21, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Climate Prediction Center has issued their winter outlook and they are favoring La Niña controlling the atmosphere through early next year. La Niña, simply put, is cooler than average ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean around the equator. A simple definition that has huge implications on our winter weather. So what can the Bay Area expect?


Much of the southwest will see above average temperatures, including the Bay Area. The warmest temperatures are expected to persist across much of Arizona.

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A good chance that Southern California will see drier than average conditions. Not good for the ongoing drought. What still needs to be fine-tuned is the Bay Area's chance for above or below normal rainfall. It all hinges on the strength of La Niña, or how cold the ocean waters get. A strong La Niña, or water temperatures that are well below average, would favor drier conditions in the Bay Area. However, if La Niña trends a little weaker, we could be looking at soaking rains throughout the season.


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The entire winter will not be warm. We expect several stretches of warmer winter days mixed in with average, or below average days. La Niña is the big wild card here. Strength will determine how much rainfall the Bay Area receives and the ABC7 Weather team will be tracking the progress all season long. Even if we do see above average rains this season, the long term drought will still persist. We need several winters of above average rainfall to wipe away years of dry seasons.


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