December Weather Outlook

It’s the first of December (although it’s not necessarily covered with snow), which means it’s time to look at the weather outlook for the month courtesy of the CPC.  We’ll also take a look at the outlook for meteorological Winter in a future post, although it hasn’t changed much from the official NOAA Winter Outlook.  Likewise, the reviews for the November and Fall weather outlooks are forthcoming.

As usual, we take a look at both the temperature and precipitation outlooks for the month, beginning with temperature.

Click for larger image.

Above normal temperatures are expected in much of Alaska and the western states of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.  From the central Plains east to the Atlantic coast and south to the Gulf coast, below normal temperatures are expected for the last month of 2009.  This outlook map closely parallels that of NCEP’s coupled forecast system that Paul has looked at a couple times on his blog.  Combine this with the forecast model predictions for early December, and the outlook is hard to argue with.  (I saw a forecast model solution today that predicted snow near Houston, TX toward the end of this week.  Yikes!)  Now for the precipitation outlook:

Click for larger image.

Above normal precipitation is anticipated in southwestern Alaska, California, and the southern U.S. from Texas through the Carolinas.  No location is expecting below normal precipitation this month.

Combining the outlooks for both maps, it appears we may begin to see consistent snowfall for much of the northern half of the country.  Seeing that meteorological Winter is getting started, this isn’t too unexpected.  What will be interesting to watch is how far south the snow flies this month.  We know colder than normal temperatures are predicted, but will it be cold enough to support snow?  It’s something we’ll follow here throughout the month and it may begin by the end of this week.

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2 Responses to December Weather Outlook

  1. Sophia Senior says:

    Hay does anyone know what the weather for the 10th of december in Cairns Queensland is at all

    • Steve J says:


      Our technology doesn’t allow us to accurately forecast the weather that far in advance. In fact, we can only feel confident about 5-7 days out in a forecast. I can tell you that the average high temperature for that time of year in Cairns is 31.4 degrees Celsius or about 88 degrees Fahrenheit. This will be the warmest time of the year as the Sun is almost directly overhead. Get ready for some heat!

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