Official NOAA winter forecast released: Here’s what to expect in Central Texas

Weather Blog

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Meteorological winter begins Dec. 1 and continues through the end of February, but we’re already getting a look at what type of weather we can expect for our coldest season.

We already told you that a La Niña weather pattern has developed and the impacts that usually has for us in Central Texas.

LA NINA PATTERN IN WINTER

Thursday morning, NOAA released its first winter forecast and the expectations are in line with a typical La Nina winter:

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.

WINTER 2021-2022 PRECIPITATION FORECAST

Winter temperature forecast: Warmer than normal

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

WINTER 2021-2022 TEMPERATURE FORECAST

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″

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.

What about the rest of the United States?

U.S. WINTER TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK 2021-2022
U.S. NATIONAL PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK WINTER 2021-2022

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