Days are becoming shorter and temperatures are dropping, which signals the arrival of winter. While some are eager for the snow to return, others may be nervous about what the coldest time of the year will bring. Therefore, it’s important to know the annual winter forecast. 

Last winter was one that won’t be forgotten easily, particularly by those who live in the central U.S. Across Texas, millions were left in the dark after a snowstorm brought in extremely cold air. A few days later, the figure for snow on the ground across the country stood at 73.2%, the highest percentage since 2003, when the metric started being recorded. In addition, Denver had its snowiest winter in 37 years. 

This winter season is expected to be busy from coast to coast. La Niña was a strong factor that was responsible for shaping the weather patterns across the U.S. throughout last winter. It is an event that takes place when the water near the Pacific Ocean’s equator is cooler than average. Hence, the jet stream is impacted by it, and it also influences the track taken by storms to move across North America. La Niña is the counterpart to the popularly known El Niño. 

La Niña is predicted to influence part of the overall patterns once again this winter. Although, it will be weaker than last year. So, there’s room for other elements to show up in the winter forecast, especially when the season heads into the second half. 

The Polar vortex could also be weaker than last winter season. With a weaker polar vortex, colder air from the Arctic could possibly slide southward into America before meteorological winter officially commences on December 1. Astronomical winter, on the other hand, will start on Tuesday, December 21. Waves of storms are expected in the Pacific Northwest, which may help douse the wildfires and alleviate drought.