Science

NOAA: Winter may be warmer than average

NOAA: Winter may be warmer than average

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center released its seasonal forecast on October 18, and the predictions are quite interesting.

No place in the United States is expected to be colder than normal, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the government's Climate Prediction Center.

In the winter, the NOAA said, typical El Nino conditions include wetter-than-average precipitation in the southern USA and drier conditions in parts of the northern U.S. The effect could "influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North".

Much of the north and west parts of the country - especially Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains - are set to see warmer-than-normal conditions, NOAA said. "The last cold winter that the country saw was back in 2013-14, and I'd expect MI to probably follow that pattern".

Winter weather expert Judah Cohen, of the private company Atmospheric and Environmental Research, uses different indicators to predict winter for the National Science Foundation.

But North and SC, along with much of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic, the Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valley, "all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures", NOAA said.

- No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures. Meteorologists predict there's a 75 percent chance it'll be around this winter.




If NOAA's outlook holds true and much of the nation is milder than normal, it will mark the fourth straight warmer-than-normal winter for the Lower 48.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the U.S., extending up into the Mid-Atlantic.

- Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across the southern tier of the USA, and up into the Mid-Atlantic. The chances are highest in southeastern Georgia and much of northern and Central Florida.

Drought conditions are likely to persist across portions of the Southwest, Southern California, the central Great Basin, central Rockies, Northern Plains and portions of the interior Pacific Northwest.

-This outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. He also forecasts a warm winter, heavily based on weak snowfall in Siberia.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook each month.

As for that other big winter factor - snow - Halpert says the weather service has no prediction for Maine.


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