AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thursday morning NOAA released its Winter 2022-2023 forecast, and it paints a familiar picture for Central Texas.
The influence of La Niña is expected to continue for the third winter (December-February) in a row resulting in a higher likelihood of a warmer and drier period ahead during our coldest months of the year. As we dive into later, not all La Niña winters have followed the warmer and drier than normal pattern.
NOAA’s Winter forecast for Central Texas
Warmer-than-normal and drier-than-normal conditions are favored this winter throughout all of Central Texas.
The drier-than-normal conditions would continue to worsen our drought, which is already getting worse after some recent improvements.
The Climate Prediction Center’s drought outlook through the end of January 2023 expects the drought to continue or worsen throughout most of Texas.
U.S. winter outlook
Elsewhere in the U.S. cooler-than-normal conditions are expected in the Pacific Northwest and the upper Midwest. Warmer-than-normal conditions are expected for most of the southern tier of the United States and most of the East Coast.
Below-normal precipitation is expected throughout the southern states. Wetter-than-normal conditions are expected in the Pacific Northwest and near the Great Lakes.
What’s normal for winter?
Here’s what temperatures and precipitation typically average* in Austin (Camp Mabry) for the winter months of December through February.
- Average High: 63.9°
- Average Low: 43.4°
- Average Precipitation: 2.72″
- Average Snow: 0″
- Average High: 62.5°
- Average Low: 41.8°
- Average Precipitation: 2.64″
- Average Snow: 0″
- Average High: 66.5°
- Average Low: 45.8°
- Average Precipitation: 1.89″
- Average Snow: 0.2″
*30-year average based on 1991-2020
In-Depth: How have the last few winters been?
The 30-year winter average mean temperature, which factors in highs and lows for each day, is around 53.9° at Camp Mabry in Austin. This is how the last five winters have compared to that average.
- Winter 2017-2018: Colder than average (52.8°)
- Winter 2018-2019: Colder than average (53.7°)
- Winter 2019-2020: Warmer than average (56.1°)
- Winter 2020-2021: Colder than average (52.3°)
- Winter 2021-2022: Warmer than average (55.0°)
The 30-year winter average precipitation is around 7.25 inches in Austin. This is how the last five winters have compared to that average.
- Winter 2017-2018: Drier than normal (6.30″)
- Winter 2018-2019: Wetter than normal (9.82″)
- Winter 2019-2020: Drier than normal (5.50″)
- Winter 2020-2021: Wetter than normal (7.61″)
- Winter 2021-2022: Drier than normal (6.80″)
The 30-year winter average snowfall for Austin is around 0.2 inches. This is how the last five winters have compared to that average.
- Winter 2017-2018: Above normal snowfall (0.4″)
- Winter 2018-2019: Below normal snowfall (Trace)
- Winter 2019-2020: Below normal snowfall (Trace)
- Winter 2020-2021: Much above normal snowfall (7.9″)
- Winter 2021-2022: Below normal snowfall (0.1″)
Stay with the First Warning Weather team as we take you into the winter months.