The predicted temperatures for most of the Western United States,
(including Big Valley) are for higher than normal temperatures
throughout the winter.
The National Weather Service has a Climate Prediction Center which
produces long term weather outlooks for the United States and has made
available a number of maps showing the outlook for winter weather, one
of which is shown above. More maps are available from their web
HERE to see a list of maps). A set of maps under the heading
"More Outlooks: is on this page. The titles include letters such
as "DJF" which means December, January, February and so on.
"Even though the average temperature over the three-month winter
season is forecast to be above normal in much of the country, there
still will be bouts of winter weather with cold temperatures and frozen
precipitation," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher,
Jr., Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and
According to the
El Nino is the name given to a 3 to 7 year cycle of warm water which
occurs in the eastern Pacific Ocean and has been observed to strongly
influence the climate.
The outlook of at least a not very cold winter is good news with
rapidly increasing heating fuel prices. The bad news is that we
can certainly look forward to colder winters in the next few years and
fuel prices will not go down. We should use this time to evaluate
our home heating systems and plan for the future.