Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

NOAA predicts a warmer, wetter California winter due to weak El Niño

NOAA predicting mild winter in New England – Boston News, Weather, Sports NOAA releases 2018-19 Winter Outlook
Sandra Phillips | 19 October, 2018, 20:27

According to NOAA, in ME, the three-month average snowfall in Portland, across December, January and February, is 14.8 inches, in Bangor 16.1 inches, and in Caribou, 23.4 inches. "The last cold winter that the country saw was back in 2013-14, and I'd expect MI to probably follow that pattern".

The balmy prediction is due to the roughly 75% chance of an El Niño developing. "Although a weak El Nino is expected, it may still influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North".

Broadly speaking, "El Nino" refers to a climate effect caused by warming sea surface temperatures in parts of the Pacific Ocean.

There's a lot more than just an El Nino pattern that determines how winter will play out.

Winter weather expert Judah Cohen, of the private company Atmospheric and Environmental Research, uses different indicators to predict winter for the National Science Foundation.

The Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures.

- No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures.

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Map showing the NOAA winter outlook for the months of December, January and February for the U.S.

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 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.

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

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

As for that other big winter factor - snow - Halpert says the weather service has no prediction for Maine.

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.

Even so, it's no time to ditch the shovels and heavy winter jackets, with NOAA warning that its forecast does not mean the winter of 2018-2019 will not feature major snowstorms.

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