NOAA Winter Outlook: Warmer for Much of the United States

NOAA predicting mild winter in New England – Boston News, Weather, Sports

NOAA releases 2018-19 Winter Outlook

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center released its seasonal forecast on October 18, and the predictions are quite interesting.

For the rest of the country this winter, no place in the United States is expected to be colder than normal, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the governments Climate Prediction Center.

"We're expecting this El Nino to be much weaker than that one", Halpert said.

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

The main headline from the press release is that there is a higher chance of the United States to experience warmer than average temperatures for the winter.

Other climate patterns that can affect winter weather are challenging to predict on a seasonal time scale.

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

The organization's predictive maps placed ME in a sweeping band of orange, signifying that center forecasters believe the state is among those with a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of being "warmer than normal".

2018-19 Winter Outlook map for temperature.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the U.S., extending up into the Mid-Atlantic.

"Up in ME the forecast is actually what we call "equal chances", which means there's no tilt in those odds, so it's just as likely to be a wetter-than-normal winter as a drier-than-normal winter", says Halpert.

Above-average rainfall is most likely northern Florida and southern Georgia this winter.

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. "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 during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are still likely to occur", the agency stated.

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.

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