Science

Climate forecasters say ME likely to have above-average temps this winter

Climate forecasters say ME likely to have above-average temps this winter”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its winter (December-February) weather outlook for the USA, predicting a wetter-than-normal winter in the Carolinas and much of the south, contrasting with drought conditions in some far northern states.

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

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

It is also predicting lots of snow "for the Great Lakes states, Midwest, and central and northern New England, with the majority of it falling in January and February". The greatest chance for warmer than normal winter weather is in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Montana, northern Wyoming and western North Dakota.

While this obviously shouldn't be taken as gospel, it does give us a brief look at what we can expect heading into the winter season. 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.

The reason behind the milder-than-normal winter is the developing El Nino, which is when the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean has warmer-than-normal surface water.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the United States, extending up into the Mid-Atlantic. Even so, the NOAA forecast indicates "equal chances" of above-, normal or below-normal temperatures in this zone.

Drought conditions are forecast to stay put this winter in the Southwest, Southern California, central Great Basin, central Rockies, Northern Plains and portions of the interior Pacific Northwest. Northern Florida and southern Georgia have the greatest odds for above-average precipitation during the winter, the NOAA said.

NOAA's winter forecast comes as the mercury is finally beginning to dip across most of the country after a summer that lasted well into October in the eastern U.S., with temperatures into the 80s and even 90s. But in case you need some talking down, a new forecast from NOAA says that at the very least, it won't be a nightmare this year. This change in sea surface temperature has a wide range of effects on seasonal weather patterns across the globe, but in the USA, an El Niño typically means warmer winter temperatures, and higher levels of precipitation in certain regions of the country.



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