NOAA predicts a warmer, wetter California winter due to weak El Niño


Halpert said the track record of winter outlooks is better than that of outlooks for other seasons, or about 40 percent better than the flip of a coin - good enough for people to be able to utilize the outlooks.

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.

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. However, Halper said, it's not expected to be quite as strong as the El Nino that helped lead to the record warm 2015-2016 winter season.

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

No part of the United States is expected to have below-average temperatures, according to the outlook. During the winter, typical El Nino conditions in the USA can include wetter-than-average precipitation in the South and drier conditions in parts of the North. Northern Florida and southern Georgia have the greatest odds for above-average precipitation 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.

But they are expected to get better in Arizona and New Mexico, southern parts of Utah and Colorado, the coastal Pacific Northwest and the Central Plains, NOAA said.

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The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center posts its three-month outlook once a month.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next NOAA update on November 15. "Even during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are still likely to occur", the agency stated.

The winter, it said, will be "colder-than-normal... from the Continental Divide east through the Appalachians". The real teeth-chattering arrives mid-February especially in the following zones: "Northeast/New England, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Midwest, and Southeast (yes, even the Southeast will be in the chill zone!)".

The Carolinas can expect a wetter than average winter this year, according to latest seasonal forecasts.

The National Weather Service on Thursday predicted a warmer than normal winter for the northern and western three-quarters of the nation.

"Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, and snow-filled winter".