Could you give an update of the Pacific Ocean water currents and temperatures?
— Fritz, Chicago
Data supplied by the Climate Prediction Center show a weak La Nina pattern is continuing, with below-normal temperatures across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. Also noted is a vast expanse of significantly colder-than-normal water from Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula, across the Gulf of Alaska to western Canada. Weak La Nina conditions are expected to persist through February. This suggests mild, dry conditions across the southern U.S. and mid-Atlantic region. Areas from western Canada through the northern Plains and upper Midwest can expect the rest of the winter season to average colder and snowier than normal. The Chicago area lies in a region forecast to average near-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation