SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issued its forecast for the winter of 2023-24 over the United States and it is highlighted by greater odds for above-normal temperatures over the north half of the United States, including over central New York.

The best chance for above-normal precipitation stretches from California east into the Southeast United States.

El Nino in play this winter

The overriding factor in determining their forecast is the ongoing El Nino in the Pacific Ocean.  That is the warmer than normal equatorial waters in the Pacific. The El Nino officially formed a couple of months ago and will peak as a ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ episode based on just how warm the waters become in the next few months.

In the last three winters, the El Nino was missing in the Pacific Ocean and instead cooler waters (or a La Nina) were found in this part of the Pacific.

Any clues on snowfall this winter?

The CPC does not make a snowfall forecast for the winter and looking at just how strong the El Nino becomes, it is not clear how much snow Central New York could see. We have seen some very low snowfall winters, but a few have been quite snowy.

The last four winters have been relatively light in the snowfall department in Syracuse with less than 90 inches each winter.  The average snowfall in Syracuse is 127 inches.

The Storm Team will continue to look at other patterns across the globe to see if we can narrow down how much snow we could see this upcoming winter.