NOAA Predicts Warmer Winter for Much of the US

A plow makes its way under a railroad bridge as light snow falls during a snowstorm March 21 in Lebanon N.J

A plow makes its way under a railroad bridge as light snow falls during a snowstorm March 21 in Lebanon N.J

Parts of the northwest, including Oregon, Washington, and Montana, have a greater-than-50% chance of experiencing warmer-than-expected temperatures.

Last winter ranked among the warmest third in historical records, 1.8 degrees above normal averaged over the nation.

The Climate Prediction Center (a division of NOAA) has released their early outlook for the winter 2018-2019 season.

The likelihood of El Nino, meteorologists say, 70-75%.

Hubbard said the bay areas streak of record-breaking hot weather in October is not related to El Nino, but is instead caused by a combination of factors, such as dry high pressure in the area the past few weeks — which blocks rainfall — easterly winds and little sea breeze.

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But North and SC, along with much of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic, the Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valley, "all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures", NOAA said.

"The last four winters had all been very warm actually; nearly coast-to-coast", Halper told WWJ's Michael Cohen. Even so, the NOAA forecast indicates "equal chances" of above-, normal or below-normal temperatures in this zone.

NOAA says much of the northern and western US will have warmer-than-normal conditions with the southeast having equal chances for temps that run either below-normal, near-normal or above-normal. The last time there was an El Nino event, in the winter of 2015-2016, the Mid-Atlantic was hit by a blockbuster snowstorm.

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.

2018-19 Winter Outlook map for temperature. The warmest conditions were found in the Southwest.

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Warmer-than-normal conditions are anticipated across much of the northern and western US, with the greatest likelihood in Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains.

How confident should you be in this outlook?

I hasten to please the Americans, according to this forecast, in most of the States the winter will be quite (or even extremely) soft.

The outlook is also predicting it won't be an unusually wet winter for New England.

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