Don't expect another winter like last one!
Last winter's weather was rough in many parts of the United States. It was cold in much of the country. And California had a lack of rain. Now comes some good news. A repeat is not expected this year.
The coming winter looks pretty average in general. So says Mike Halpert of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He doesn't expect a lot of extreme conditions.
"A repeat of last winter is not particularly likely," said Halpert. He is acting director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
That doesn't mean there won't be cold air and snow. That's normal for much of the country during winter, Halpert said. It just won't persist as much. Last year, the extreme weather seemed to be stuck in place, he said.
NOAA didn't predict last winter's extremes in last year's winter forecast.
For December through February, NOAA forecasts warmer-than-normal winter temperatures for most of the West, northern tier and northern New England. Expect cooler weather in the Southeast and average temperatures elsewhere.
The agency predicts wetter-than-normal conditions stretching from Southern California to Florida and up to northern New Hampshire. Dry patches are likely in the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes. Average precipitation is forecast elsewhere.
A long-expected El Nino makes last year's extremes less likely, Halpert said. An El Nino is a warming of the tropical Pacific that changes weather worldwide.
Other private weather forecasters are predicting a slightly cooler winter than NOAA.