NOAA updates winter 2021-2022 forecast: Here’s what changed for Central Texas

Weather Blog

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An updated winter forecast was released Thursday with some subtle changes to expectations for Central Texas.

Back in October when the initial winter forecast was released, it called for warmer and drier conditions this winter in Central Texas.

Here’s what the most recently updated forecast calls for.

Winter precipitation forecast: Drier than normal

For Central Texas, we should expect a drier than normal winter with odds favoring less rain than normal. Those drier than normal expectations increase the farther southwest you live.

Updated winter precipitation forecast

What changed with the updated forecast? Parts of Oklahoma and eastern Texas trended closer to normal and not quite as dry, but the outlook for Central Texas was unchanged.

Winter temperature forecast: Warmer than normal

No surprises here, warmer than normal temperatures are still expected throughout Texas and really for all of the southern states.

Winter temperature forecast

What changed with the updated forecast? The odds of a warmer winter in Central Texas have increased since the October release of the winter forecast.

Reminder: What is an ‘average’ winter in Central Texas?

Winter is typically our “driest” season in Central Texas with an average of 7.25″ of rain over the three months. Winter also has our driest month of the year, February, with only 1.89″ of rain. February is also the only month where we average measurable snow of 0.2″ in Austin.

Out of the 89 days in winter, the season averages 22.8 days with measurable precipitation, which makes it the season with the second most days with measurable rain. This generally means we get measurable rainfall every four days. This means we have more “wet” days in winter than every other season aside from spring, but those wet days add up to less rain in total than any other season.

No surprise — it’s also our coldest season of the year.

Typical winter stats:

December:

  • Average High: 63.9º
  • Average Low: 43.4º
  • Average Rain: 2.72″

January:

  • Average High: 62.5º
  • Average Low: 41.8º
  • Average Rain: 2.64″

February:

  • Average High: 66.5º
  • Average Low: 45.8º
  • Average Rain: 1.89″
  • Average Snow: 0.2″

What about the rest of the United States?

U.S. Precipitation Forecast
U.S. Temperature Forecast

Last winter…

Last winter was ALSO a La Niña winter. But despite La Niña winters usually bringing warmer and drier weather to Central Texas, last winter was both slightly wetter and also colder than normal. However, some context is needed there.

  • December was MUCH wetter than normal
  • January was quite a bit drier than normal
  • Near normal precipitation fell in February.
  • Both December and January were around 1.3º and 1.4º warmer than average respectively.
  • February was 7.8º COLDER than normal as a deep freeze set in during the middle of the month.

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