Yes, I realize it is only late October. And yes, I realize we haven't even had our first frost of the season yet. But someone has to be on the lookout for winter weather! Iowans are especially concerned this year about how harsh a winter we're going to have because it could cost an arm and a leg to heat out homes due to the high cost of natural gas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their first forecast for the winter of 2021 yesterday, and Iowans should be encouraged.

CBS2 reports that this first outlook is being driven by the presence of La Nina in the Pacific. The NOAA declared last week that the cool phase of El Nino would make its return for the second winter in a row. Here is what the means for Iowa and the rest of the Midwest.

CBS2 points out that Iowa is forecast to see temperatures slightly above normal from December through February, with slightly above normal chances of precipitation too. The NOAA says that despite the warmer than normal outlook, don't go planning on wearing shorts to work quite yet. Average high temperatures in Iowa during the winter months still dip well below the freezing mark. Even if temperatures end up being above average, Iowa could still see plenty of snow and an occasional blast of Artic air, just like any other winter.

While the La Nina pattern bodes well for Iowa, the weather pattern means more drought conditions for the Southwest. The NOAA is scheduled to release its next winter outlook on November 19th.

 
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