LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- We only have five weeks of meteorological winter left, and based on the current data, the La Nina pattern appears to be holding as forecast.
Above is the winter weather outlook that was put out by the Climate Prediction Center in November of 2020. It shows a higher chance of above-normal temperatures for December, January, and February with equal chances of above or below for precipitation.
A La Nina pattern for us in winter typically translates to an overall drier and warmer pattern but bouts of cold and winter weather can still happen. It is less likely to occur but not a zero chance. Spurts of cold and or winter weather could occur in brief sessions followed by longer periods of dry and warmer conditions.
Based on the statement above, we have certainly witnessed a few winter weather events this season followed by periods of dry and above normal temperature weather.
Below are the temperature and precipitation stats for the month of December. 17 days of the month recorded above normal temperatures while only 11 recorded below normal conditions. This caused the monthly temperature for December to be 0.8 degrees above normal.
As for rainfall, while we were just two-tenths of inch shy of meeting the normal quota, most of the rain we accumulated fell on three days that reported rainfall.
As of January 20th, the number of above vs below normal temperature days are tied but it may not last that long.
Looking ahead to the weather pattern that will wrap up the month of January, more days of above-normal temperatures look likely. This pattern would also help verify the Climate Predictions Center’s above normal temperature forecast for January (see below).
The weather pattern coming up may present warmer than normal temperatures but it also shows an increase in rainfall potential. We are more than two inch in the hole for rainfall this month but this pattern could allow us to catch up.
As we move into the month of February, it appears to be more of the same. Above normal temperatures are forecast with equal chances of above or below normal precipitation.
Time is running out for those who want more winter weather. While that may be, please remember as noted above, we can still have brief bouts and cold and or winter weather during La Nina episodes. That has already happened this season on several occasions.