Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Wet and mild: Warm winter predicted for much of the US

Wet and mild: Warm winter predicted for much of the US

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. is in for a fairly mild winter.

Much of the state has at least a 33 percent chance of a warmer than normal season, with areas nearer the northwest corner of Kansas having at least a 40 percent chance of a warmer season, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said in a news release.

El Nino has a 70 to 75 percent chance of developing, it will likely be in place by late fall/early winter.

Because of a likely El Nino, which is the episodic warming of the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean, NOAA favors above average amounts of precipitation along the southern tier of the United States, creeping up the East Coast through the Mid-Atlantic.

This video below explains El Nino further and provides greater details about NOAA's winter outlook.

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.

While this obviously shouldn't be taken as gospel, it does give us a brief look at what we can expect heading into the winter season.

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

The Southeast, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic can go any way on temperature, Halpert said.

"No part of the favored to have below-average temperatures", Halpert said.

With the Southeast the only region not projected to have above-normal temperatures, that could mean a few winter storms will bring snow to the Deep South, which can cause major disruption to the region.

Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across the southern tier of the US, and up into the Mid-Atlantic. Northern Florida and southern Georgia have the greatest odds for above-average precipitation this winter. "The maps show only the most likely category with higher probability indicating greater confidence".

"Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance". This change in sea surface temperature has a wide range of effects on seasonal weather patterns across the globe, but in the US, an El Niño typically means warmer winter temperatures, and higher levels of precipitation in certain regions of the country.

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

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