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

NOAA predicting mild winter in New England – Boston News, Weather, Sports
NOAA releases 2018-19 Winter Outlook

21 October, 2018

The forecasters published their predictions for US weather in December, January, and February on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website on Thursday, saying only the southeast USA will have a standard winter with temperatures and precipitation keeping in line with historic averages.

NOAA says much of the northern and western us will have warmer-than-normal conditions with the southeast having equal chances for temps that run either below-normal, near-normal or above-normal.

These warmer-than-usual temperatures in the Pacific Ocean often bring warmer winters across the country as well as more rain to Southern California and the southern U.S.

Because of the uncertainty in seasonal prediction, NOAA's winter outlook is probabilistic in nature, meaning that a range of outcomes is possible in any area.

No region in the country is expected to see below average temps this winter season. In the U.S. Winter Outlook for December through February, above-average temperatures are most likely across the northern and western U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. Parts of the northwest, including Oregon, Washington, and Montana, have a greater-than-50% chance of experiencing warmer-than-expected temperatures. Meteorologists predict there's a 75 percent chance it'll be around this winter.

2018-19 Winter Outlook map for temperature.

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"We find ourselves on the verge of El Nino", said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, on a call with reporters Thursday.

It also said that wetter-than-average conditions are likely across the southern part of the USA, and up into the Mid-Atlantic.

"Even on a warming planet", he said, "it doesn't mean winter goes away and it's never cold again". The southern states of the USA, as well as those in the Mid-Atlantic, are expected to receive above-normal precipitation.

Farmer's Almanac Editor Peter Geiger said in late August his publication predicts "a very long, cold and snow-filled winter". The center has given much of the Southern United States, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay, a clear chance of a wetter winter, with pockets of drought around the Dakotas and the Great Lakes.

For those looking for snowfall projections, you won't find those in NOAA's winter outlook.

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