Each year, well out ahead of the official start of Winter, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) releases the Outlook for the upcoming winter season. There are a number of factors that come into play as NOAA scientists spend countless hours cyphering data and analyzing the long-range models before coming up with the Outlook. Here are the results.

This is the third year in a row for a “La Nina” classification which generally allows for warmer than normal temperatures in the South and Eastern United States while expecting cooler than normal temps in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plain States.

Here is how the Outlook takes shape in our region. Virginia will be looking at above-normal temps this winter, limiting the amount of snow. This also opens the door for some rainy vs. snowy days, along with the chance for a few ice storms.

As for the precipitation portion of the forecast, there will be wetter than normal weather conditions along and north of the Ohio River, and drier than normal conditions south of the Commonwealth.

This all will translate into what will be a rather mild winter for Virginia with less than normal snow accumulations. There could possibly be a decent amount of days with some cold rain but no snow and maybe some ice storms as the air will not be bitter cold all the way to the surface.