The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) forecast for the winter -- November through January -- calls for above-normal temps across the South, much of the west and along the East Coast. Above-normal temps are expected as far north as southern Nebraska and long the southern tips of Illinois and Indiana. Below-normal precip is expected across the southern tier of counties in Kansas southward, which could raise some concern about the winter wheat crop.
In its text discussion, the CPC said La Nina remains a consideration in its outlook through the winter. "The greatest likelihood for above-normal temperatures is for areas of the U.S. Southwest, where La Nina considerations, short-term climate model outlook and historical trends favor higher probabilities," it states, adding that La Nina is also an influence in the precip outlook for the southern tier of states.
In its outlook for November, the CPC calls for above-normal temps across much of the nation, including all the Plains states and the Midwest. The highest probability of above-normal temps is across Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle area. Below-normal precip is expected across the Southern Plains, southern and southeast Kansas and into Missouri and southern Iowa. Meanwhile, above-normal precip is expected across the Northwest into the western edges of the Dakotas.
According to the Seasonal Drought Outlook, the southern half of the contiguous U.S. is expected to see overall degradation of drought conditions. Forecasters say they have "moderate" confidence in their outlook for the Southern Plains. They state, "Drought development is likely across eastern and southern portions of Texas, as well as over parts of the southern High Plains. Despite this being October, this latter region is experiencing flash drought conditions with the recent heat and wind."