Winter Predictions 2015: El Niño Will Be Strong — How Will It Affect Your Weather?

If you are wondering what to expect this coming winter season we have all you need to know about winter predictions. 2015 is expected to be affected by a strong El Niño, which will determine who will see milder temperatures and who will see above normal precipitation.

This time of the year, those living in certain areas of the U.S. are gearing up for the dreaded winter season, and as October draws to an end, those temperatures begin to dip in the northern part of the country. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its 2015 winter predictions to help people prepare for whatever the season has in store.

After a dreadful winter in 2014, millions are wondering if they will see record-breaking snow fall and freezing temperatures or low precipitation and mild conditions. In 2015, the winter predictions are a mixed bag with one more component, El Niño.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, says despite one of the strongest El Niño on record — which will affect the position of the Pacific Jet Stream — it is impossible to predict the exact amount of storms that may occur during the 2015 winter season.

“A strong El Niño is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter. While temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are favored, El Niño is not the only player. Cold-air outbreaks and snow storms will likely occur at times this winter. However, the frequency, number and intensity of these events cannot be predicted on a seasonal timescale.”

NOAA says that not only El Niño, but the Arctic Oscillation — which affects the weather in the Southern U.S. — and the Madden-Julian Oscillation — which impacts the number of rainstorms in the Pacific Northwest — will affect their 2015 winter predictions.

Let’s look at NOOA’s 2015 winter predictions and how they will affect the region you live in. Will you see mountains of snow like Boston did in 2014?


A strong El Niño and the location of the Pacific Jet Stream will mean a wetter-than-average winter for the Southern Tier of the country including central and southern California, Texas, and Florida. Also, below-average temperatures are most likely in the southern Plains and Southeast.

winter predictions precipitation
Image via NOAA


During the 2015 winter, predictions of wetter-than-average for the East Coast and New England are announced by NOAA, while the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, can expect a drier-than-average winter. Residents near the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will be happy to hear that less snow is expected to fall this season.

Above-average temperatures are anticipated across much of the West and the northern half of the contiguous United States, NOAA said.


Northeastern Alaska can expect a wetter-than-normal winter, while drier-than-average conditions are most likely for Hawaii, central, and western Alaska. Above-average temperatures in Alaska and much of Hawaii will mean a milder winter.

winter predictions temperature

In addition to the 2015 winter predictions, NOAA released its outlook for the areas of the U.S. suffering from years of drought, especially the hardest hit state, California. Despite the above average predictions for this upcoming winter, it is unlikely the weather conditions will help to ease the situation, according to Halpert.

“While it is good news that drought improvement is predicted for California, one season of above-average rain and snow is unlikely to remove four years of drought. California would need close to twice its normal rainfall to get out of drought and that’s unlikely.”

Also, a drought is expected to persist in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, with drought development likely in Hawaii, parts of the northern Plains, and in the northern Great Lakes region, the agency reported.

We will have to wait and see if the 2015 winter predictions prove to be correct.

[Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images]