NOAA: Winter may be warmer than average

NOAA: Winter may be warmer than average

That's the message from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center, which released its 2018-19 winter outlook report Thursday - coincidentally, on the day many Mainers woke up to their first dustings of snow for the season.

-No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures. It's also worth noting that the forecasters base their predictions on probability and don't say how much precipitation the US will get or how hot temperatures will be.

The winter outlook from NOAA calls for a wetter than normal season in the far southwest corner of the state. "The last cold winter that the country saw was back in 2013-14, and I'd expect MI to probably follow that pattern". 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.

The northwestern United States, including parts of Northern California near the OR border, is likely to see the highest chances of warmer temperatures.

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

"Up in ME the forecast is actually what we call "equal chances", which means there's no tilt in those odds, so it's just as likely to be a wetter-than-normal winter as a drier-than-normal winter", says Halpert.

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.

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

Last winter ranked among the warmest third in historical records, 1.8 degrees above normal averaged over the nation. The southern states of the USA, as well as those in the Mid-Atlantic, are expected to receive above-normal precipitation. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issues the three-month outlook every month- so we can expect our next update on November 15th. That means, invariably, some areas will experience conditions opposite the most likely forecast even if most locations are correctly predicted, Halpert said.

The most severe (if at all so to speak this time) winter expects the Northern Rocky mountains, the OH valley and the region of the Great lakes.

The northern Rockies, northern Plains, Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley are likely to see below-average precipitation, including snow.

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