NOAA releases 2018-19 Winter Outlook

The cold may have returned this week, but take heart New Englanders: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a mild winter could be in store for the region and much of the country this year.

In the winter, the NOAA said, typical El Nino conditions include wetter-than-average precipitation in the southern USA and drier conditions in parts of the northern U.S. During the winter, typical El Nino conditions in the US can include wetter-than-average precipitation in the South and drier conditions in parts of the North.

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

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

During that time, an Arctic cold front will move across the USA and produce bitter winds and a drop in the temperature over much of the U.S.

The Southeast, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic can go any which way on temperature, Halpert said.

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Overall, no part of the U.S.is forecast to have below-average temperatures.

"NOAA" s Winter 2018 temperature outlook for the United States.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the U.S., extending up into the Mid-Atlantic. 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 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. "The maps show only the most likely category with higher probability indicating greater confidence".

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. "We stand by our forecast and formula, which accurately predicted the many storms last winter, as well as this summer's steamy, hot conditions", editor Peter Geiger wrote.

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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