Wet and mild Warm winter predicted for much of the US

Posted October 22, 2018

While this upcoming winter isn't expected to be exactly the same as four years ago, this most recent forecast from the Climate Prediction Center certainly gives us a better idea, as well as extra time to prepare for what is likely to come between the months of December and February.

The balmy prediction is due to the roughly 75% chance of an El Niño developing.

"We're expecting this El Nino to be much weaker than that one", Halpert said.

The seasonal forecast is predicting warmer-than-normal conditions for most of the northern and western United States with the Pacific Northwest and Alaska seeing the biggest difference in temperatures. It's also worth noting that the forecasters base their predictions on probability and don't say how much precipitation the USA will get or how hot temperatures will be.

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Cold air and even some snow blanketed areas of Maine Thursday, but the National Weather Service predictions indicate that Maine might experience a milder-than-average winter.

The outlook does not include seasonal snowfall accumulations, but it is being predicted that New England, similar to last year's forecast, has an equal chance of seeing above, near, or below normal precipitation.

Halpert says Maine's winter may yet be affected by warming equatorial ocean temperatures in the Pacific, known as El Niño.

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 conditions are in store for much of the southern US, up into the mid-Atlantic while drier conditions are likely for the northern Rockies, Northern Plains, northern Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

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Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across the southern tier of the US, and up into the Mid-Atlantic. "Even during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are still likely to occur", NOAA said.

- Drier-than-average conditions are most likely in parts of the northern Rockies and Northern Plains, as well as in the Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley.

NOAA also doesn't forecast specific snow ranges for the season as there's very little accuracy this far out.

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