Michigan winter outlook: Above normal temperatures and precipitation predicted

La Niña winter expected in Michigan

Three-month temperature outlook -- National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

DETROIT – The Climate Prediction Center has released its three-month weather outlook for December 2021 through February 2022, which is also “Meteorological Winter.”

It indicates Michigan will see slightly above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

Precipitation includes all kinds -- rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain.

Three-month precipitation outlook -- National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

How do they make this prediction?

There are a number of factors taken into consideration here, and it’s a fluid forecast, of course.

The Oceanic Niño Index is a big factor in this. It’s essentially a numeric value that indicates whether we’re leaning towards an El Niño or La Niña. The latest indicates a strong chance for a La Niña.

Under La Niña winters, we typically see warmer and wetter winter months.

Keep in mind: We here in Michigan are in a unique setup with large lakes that surround us. This, as we all know, provides us with our lovely “lake effect snow setups.” This is absolutely a huge factor in what we see fall in the winter months. So it’s very possible that lake effect-prone areas of the state could see even more precipitation overall.

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