Mild winter? Here’s NOAA’s 2018-2019 outlook

Gwen Vasquez
October 20, 2018

A mild winter could be in store for much of the United States this winter according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

Winter looks wet and especially mild for much of the country, thanks to a weak El Nino brewing, US meteorologists said.

Northern Florida and southern Georgia could see the wettest conditions this winter, according to NOAA, followed by central and Eastern North Carolina, much of South Carolina, Texas and New Mexico, northern Georgia and far southern parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

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 last cold winter that the country saw was back in 2013-14, and I'd expect MI to probably follow that pattern".

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

The Southeast, on the other hand, has equal chances of experiencing above-average, normal, or below-average temperatures.

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

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- No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures. On Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, the National Weather Service forecasted a warmer than normal 2018-2019 winter for the northern and western three-quarters of the U.S.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the United States, extending up into the Mid-Atlantic.

Drought conditions are most likely across the Southwest, Southern California, the central Great Basin, central Rockies, Northern Plains, and parts of the interior Pacific Northwest.

"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. They will provide you with estimated snowfall totals for the winter in Eastern Kentucky.

Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group, which specializes in long-range prediction, agreed with the broad strokes of NOAA's outlook but said its temperature forecast was "conservative" in the East and that he would lean toward colder conditions.

"Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance", the agency said.

"Even on a warming planet", he said, "it doesn't mean winter goes away and it's never cold again".

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