Colder, Snowier Than Usual Winter Possible For Texas and Oklahoma 2018-2019
As we near the end of summer, most of us here in Texas have had just about enough of the record-breaking heat. The good news is NOAA has released their winter weather outlook for 2018-2019, so let's think cool thoughts and see what Mother Nature might have in store for us this winter.
As of right now, NOAA is predicting a 70 percent chance of El Niño conditions developing in the northern hemisphere during winter 2018-2019. Typically, an El Niño event means a colder and wetter winter across the southern United States.
As for Texas and Oklahoma, NOAA is predicting above-average precipitation this winter, but say it could go either way with temperatures at this point, however, a typical El Niño event tends to bring cooler temperatures to the southern region. NOAA notes that not all impacts occur during every event, and their strength and exact location can vary.
According to meteorologist Bryan Rupp, a frigid, possibly snowier than normal winter is very likely. Rupp shared the maps below of a previous El Niño winter prediction, showing the general breakdown of areas that could see above-average precipitation and colder temperatures should a similar event happen.
To give you some reference and a better idea of how El Niño can affect weather in the Texoma area, the last time we had one was in 2016, which ended the 5-year drought in Wichita Falls with a record 17 inches of rain in May alone. And the El Niño event before that contributed to the big Christmas Eve blizzard of 2009 that caught just about everyone off guard as almost a foot of snow fell across North Texas and Southern Oklahoma, closing many roads and leaving thousands of motorists stranded with snow drifts several feet deep.
So, if you're inclined to follow the global weather pattern predictions of the scientists at NOAA, and we do indeed have a typical El Nino event, then get your parka and boots ready this winter. However, if you tend to follow the Old Farmer's Almanac's "secret formula" and solar science methods for long-range predictions, then we're looking at a totally different scenario for winter 2018-2019 in Texas and Oklahoma.
The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a milder and drier winter than normal with below-normal snowfall. "The coldest periods will be in late December, late January, and mid-February, with the best chances for snow in mid- and late December, early January, and mid-February." The Farmer's Almanac says their predictions are traditionally 80 percent accurate, so your dreams of a white Christmas in Texoma might not come true this year.
What kind of winter do you hope to see this year? Let us know in the comments!