“November through January is forecast to be warmer than most years across much of the country with the exception of the Pacific Northwest through Northern Plains and parts of Southern Alaska.” – NOAA NWS Climate Prediction Center
With the exception of southern Alaska, New England, and the PNW, the winter weather across the USA is going to be particularly warm this year with most of the precip falling in the Rockies.
For high elevation resorts, this is great news. For the lower elevation resorts of Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming– the news is not so great. With higher temps on average during the winter months (climate change… cough…), it’s no surprise that the lower elevation resorts will likely suffer the most. Keyword– likely.
Climate outlooks are far from certain and instead of forecasting snow totals, these projections are more of a look at what has a good chance of happening– not what actually will happen. We leave that to the 3-day forecasts.
Grand Targhee, Big Sky, Arapahoe Basin, Jackson Hole, Alta/Snowbird, and Schweitzer
Steamboat, Park City, Tahoe, Telluride, Arizona Snowbowl, and Taos.
3 Month Precipitation Outlook:
3 Month Temperature Outlook:
Long Lead (3-month) NOAA Climate Outlook
THE NOVEMBER-DECEMBER-JANUARY (NDJ) 2017-18 OUTLOOK FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE FORECAST DOMAIN, INCLUDING MUCH OF ALASKA. THE HIGHEST PROBABILITIES FOR ELEVATED ODDS OF WARMER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE LOCATED ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHWEST AND TEXAS. DURING THE WINTER MONTHS THROUGH FEBRUARY-MARCH-APRIL (FMA) 2018 SEASON, ENHANCED ODDS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN VARYING AREAS OF THE NORTHERN CONUS, SOUTHEAST ALASKA AND THE ALASKA PANHANDLE, WHILE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES REMAIN FAVORED FOR MUCH OF THE WESTERN AND SOUTHERN CONUS, AND NORTHERN ALASKA.
THE NDJ 2017-18 PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK INDICATES INCREASED CHANCES OF ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR WESTERN AND NORTHERN ALASKA, AS WELL AS AREAS OF THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ROCKIES. DURING NDJ 2017-18, BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS FAVORED ALONG THE SOUTHERN TIER OF THE CONUS, EXCLUDING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. AS WE MOVE THROUGH THE WINTER SEASON, ELEVATED ODDS FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION INCREASE IN COVERAGE FOR AREAS OF THE NORTHERN PLAINS, GREAT LAKES AND OHIO VALLEY THROUGH JANUARY-FEBRUARY-MARCH (JFM) 2018 AND THEN SLOWLY DECREASE ENTERING THE CORE SPRING MONTHS.