AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A winter outlook from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that the Panhandle could experience a warmer than average winter along with most of the country.
“We’re going to see some pretty good cold outbreaks, but there’s going to be a lot of warm in between when you average it all out, and that’s what those outlooks are really trying to show is the three month average for the three winter months,” said Michael Gittinger, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Services in Amarillo.
With warmer temperatures, this leaves most asking about rain and snowfall, especially with how dry it is now.
“This is a dry time of year for us anyway, it’s always dry. The new seasonal outlook says well we have equal chances for being above or below normal, I’ll say seasonal outlooks don’t always pan out. I can remember some that would indicate that we would have twice as much precipitation as normal, and we ended up with below-normal precipitation. So anytime we go long term, we have to take it with a grain of salt,” said News Channel 10’s Chief Meteorologist Doppler Dave Oliver.
According to past winters, it may be unlikely to have another dry one.
“We’ve had four years in a row of below-normal snowfall. An interesting tidbit, we’ve never had five, and our records go back to 1892. So if we’re below normal this year, it will be the first time on record going back to 1892 that we had five consecutive below snowfall years,” said Gittinger.
“We had a few dry winters in a row. It’s unusual for us to have several in a row. Everything I see points to a fairly normal winter, which means we’re going to have a lot of ups and downs. We’re going to have our hands full with some winter storms now and then, but the overall picture might be a little less cold than average,” said Oliver.
It may be predicted to be warmer than average, but that doesn’t mean precautions shouldn’t be taken for the times that we will experience cold fronts and winter storms.
“Just working on you know the communication of a winter event, going through a scenario, being able to react to some injects and then communicate what it is we’re expecting. We’re preparing for winter, even if we end up being above normal and being a little warm. That’s really what everyone should be doing, is doing what they need to do to be prepared as winters coming,” said Gittinger.