Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

NOAA Winter Outlook: Warmer for Much of the United States

NOAA Winter Outlook: Warmer for Much of the United States

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.

"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.

The NOAA said that the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures. Weather experts predict a warmer than normal winter in Kansas.

No part of the United States is expected to have below-average temperatures, according to the outlook.

"The country as a whole has been quite mild since 2014-2015", Halpert said. In terms of precipitation, the line dividing drier-than-average conditions and normal conditions falls right through central Wisconsin with the eastern part of our state looking at 33% chance for drier-than-average conditions and western half of our state looking at normal conditions.

The Farmer's Almanac said that for its winter outlook, the temperatures are going to be cold with "plenty of snow".

Meanwhile, the southern-third of the USA and much of the East Coast could be hunkering down for a wetter than normal December through January. The northern half stays drier while the southern half gets extra precipitation.

The middle belt of the nation, and some of the north from California to NY, can go any which way on precipitation. If we take a trip back in time, the forecast from October 2014 looked very similar to this forecast: mostly mild while remaining dry in the North and wet in the South.

While El Nino is the biggest factor in the forecast, long-term warming from human-caused climate change is a factor, too, Halpert said.

"The last four winters had all been very warm actually; nearly coast-to-coast", Halper told WWJ's Michael Cohen.

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

The tropical Pacific has gradually warmed recently, leading to the expectation that an El Nino will develop and affect weather during December, January and February, the federal agency said.

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