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Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook for the Western Region for December 2016 – February 2017. Dated March 2017.
High pressure was anchored over the southeastern US for much of the winter, producing well above normal temperatures that reached westward into the Four Corners states. February was the most severe month of the season with average temperature anomalies in the Southwest exceeding 6 F. In contrast, persistent low pressure over the Pacific Northwest allowed for cold, polar air to move into this region. This kept temperatures well below normal, and many southeastern WA/northern OR locations saw one of their bottom-10 coldest winters on record. Near normal temperatures dominated in between.
NOAA’s Regional Climate Services Program created these Climate Outlooks to inform the public about recent climate impacts within their respective regions. Each regional report contains easy-to-understand language, and anyone can access them through the Drought Portal at https://www.drought.gov/drought/resources/reports.