The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its long-range outlook for the beginning of winter.
NOAA indicates a 33 to 40 percent chance of seeing above-normal temperatures for the next three months for areas north of I-94. Typically, our average high ranges from 68 degrees on Oct. 1 to 33 degrees on Dec. 31.
In addition, parts of West Michigan are expected to see below-normal precipitation. NOAA indicates about a 33 to 40 percent chance of drier than normal conditions. Grand Rapids typically averages 9.6 inches of precipitation with 28.2 inches of snow.
Both of these outlooks match up with an El Niño pattern, which is expected to carry through the winter months. El Niño brings warmer sea surface temperatures to the eastern Pacific Ocean. This pattern typically brings wetter than normal conditions in the southern part of the United States. In the northern half, drier and warmer conditions typically take over.
Last winter, Grand Rapids fell into a La Niña pattern bringing well above normal snow amounts. At the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the grand total was 110.7 inches. As of now, this upcoming winter will likely bring a lesser amount of snow.