Here’s what NOAA is predicting for winter weather in Mass. this year

We are in our third consecutive year of La Niña conditions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a significant chance of a warm winter for Massachusetts this year.

Precipitation is equally as likely to be above average as it is to be below average, according to NOAA’s predictions.

This winter, we will be under La Niña conditions for the third year in a row, NOAA wrote in a news release Thursday.

La Niña is when the waters in the Pacific Ocean around the equator are colder than average. This causes warmer temperatures in the southwest, southeast, and along the Atlantic coast of the U.S., including all the way up to New England.


According to NOAA’s predictions, all of Massachusetts has a 33% to 40% chance of higher-than-average temperatures this winter.

NOAA created a map showing how likely it is for different parts of the U.S. to have higher or lower-than-average temperatures this winter. – NOAA

For snow and rain, NOAA predicts equal chances of lower or higher-than-normal precipitation in Massachusetts.

NOAA created a map showing how likely it is for different parts of the U.S. to have higher or lower-than-average precipitation this winter. – NOAA

NOAA did have some encouraging predictions after a summer of severe drought. It predicts that drought conditions will end in northern Massachusetts, the Cape, and southern New Hampshire.

NOAA created a map showing its predictions for drought conditions across the U.S. this winter. – NOAA

Northern Massachusetts and the Cape are currently experiencing the worst drought conditions in the state, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Most of Essex County is in severe drought, while most of Suffolk, Middlesex, Barnstable, Franklin, and Hampshire Counties are in moderate drought, and the top half of Worcester County is in moderate drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor created a map of drought conditions across Massachusetts. – U.S. Drought Monitor

Even so, drought conditions in Massachusetts are already far better than they were at the end of the summer, after many weeks of significant rainfall.

NOAA will release its updated predictions for this winter on Nov. 17.


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