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El Nino in place for winter

Warmer than average temperatures coming?

This year, El Niño is in place heading into winter for the first time in four years, driving the outlook for warmer-than-average temperatures for the northern tier of the continental United States, according to NOAA’s U.S. Winter Outlook released last by the Climate Prediction Center..

From December through February, NOAA predicts wetter-than-average conditions for northern Alaska, portions of the West, the southern Plains, Southeast, Gulf Coast and lower mid-Atlantic and drier-than-average conditions across the northern tier of the U.S., especially in the northern Rockies and High Plains and near the Great Lakes.

* Warmer-than-average temperatures are favored across the northern tier of the U.S. and much of the Far West

* The greatest odds for warmer-than-average conditions are in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and northern New England.

* Near-normal seasonal mean temperatures are most likely for a region from the south-central Rockies to the southern Plains.

* Remaining areas fall into the category of equal chances for below-, near-, or above-average seasonal mean temperatures.


* Wetter-than-average conditions are most likely in northern Alaska, some areas of the West from parts of California to the south-central Rockies, the southern Plains, Gulf Coast, Southeast and lower mid-Atlantic.

* The greatest odds for drier-than-average conditions are forecast in portions of the northern Rockies and central Great Lakes region, especially for Michigan and northern Ohio and Indiana.

* Much of the central portion of the U.S. falls into the category of equal chances for below-, near-, or above-average seasonal total precipitation.


* Widespread extreme to exceptional drought continues to persist across much of the South, and portions of the central U.S.

* Drought conditions are expected to improve across the Southeast, the Gulf Coast (including the lower Mississippi Valley), and Texas due to the expected wetter-than-average forecast.

* Drought conditions are expected to persist for the northern Rockies, northern Great Plains, and portions of the desert Southwest this winter.

* Drought development could occur in the interior Pacific Northwest given the chance for drier-than-average conditions.

* Drought is likely to persist or develop across Hawaii.

About NOAA’s Seasonal Outlooks

NOAA’s seasonal outlooks provide the likelihood that temperatures and total precipitation amounts will be above-, near- or below-average, and how drought conditions are anticipated to change in the months ahead. The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations as snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook each month. The next update will be available November 16.

Seasonal outlooks help communities prepare for what is likely to come in the months ahead and minimize weather’s impacts on lives and livelihoods. Resources such as and provide comprehensive tools to better understand and plan for climate-driven hazards. Empowering people with actionable forecasts, seasonal predictions and winter weather safety tips is key to NOAA’s effort to build a more Weather- and Climate-Ready Nation.


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