Don't expect another winter like last one! Daniel Davis is covered in snow and ice while clearing a sidewalk during a snow storm in Detroit in 2014 (- AP photos)
Don't expect another winter like last one!
Lexile

If you thought last winter was a horror show, with cold blasts and a lack of California rain, there's some good news. A repeat is not expected this year.

Mike Halpert of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that the upcoming winter looks pretty average in general. He doesn't expect a lot of extreme conditions.

"A repeat of last winter is not particularly likely," said Halpert, 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 as it did last year, when extreme weather seemed to be stuck in place, he said.

Last year, a high pressure ridge off the Pacific coast kept rain out of California during its crucial winter rainy season. It's unlikely to return in force, Halpert 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.

Judah Cohen is director of seasonal forecast at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, Massachusetts. He has pioneered winter forecasts that link colder Eastern U.S. weather to years when there is more snow on the ground in Siberia in October. It's still early and October isn't finished. But the month has started out unusually snowy in Siberia. That preliminarily points to a cooler winter for east of the Mississippi River, he said.

Halpert said Cohen's method is intriguing. But NOAA needs more years to show that it works as forecast tool.

Ryan Maue of the private WeatherBell Analytics of New York predicts that "a vast majority of the nation will experience significant periods of below-normal temperatures this winter, with the coldest temperatures (relative to normal) occurring in the Ohio Valley and up through the Eastern Plains."

Critical thinking challenge: Why do experts expect a milder winter this year than last year?

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COMMENTS (76)
  • KadenJohnson-Hay
    10/23/2014 - 10:48 a.m.

    I am glad that it won't be as cold because you don't have to wear as much close to get on then and you won't have to buy as much to.

  • BryleaNeloms-Hay
    10/23/2014 - 10:59 a.m.

    I am glad that it isn't going to be that cool this winter so I can play out side and go to the park and play.

  • alexisk-Sch
    10/23/2014 - 11:25 a.m.

    Because last year was horrible. Also because the weather this year is always changing. Its suppose to be 72 today and watch tomorrow be 50.

  • 21jafalc
    10/23/2014 - 12:10 p.m.

    I hope that we don't have another winter like last year because last years winter was so bad that kids couldn't go outside because it was so cold outside unless you had a lot of clothes on so you would't get cold. also over 200 people had their water pips frozen.

  • 21zfmcro
    10/23/2014 - 12:11 p.m.

    I really hope this year wont be like last year because we got a lot of snow last year but I slightly would like
    it because we might get more snow days.

  • 21lrhugh
    10/23/2014 - 12:29 p.m.

    I hope we don't have a winter like we did last year. I like winter but it just got way to cold. The experts might be wrong and they may be correct. We'll find out soon enough.

  • cashmoneyy
    10/23/2014 - 01:15 p.m.

    I would not really like those snow days like last year because it did affect a lot of schools and districts. It also affected a lot of homes as well. But I do like snow so that's a hard decision. I'm glad we are not expecting weather like that again this year.

  • Tucker2525
    10/23/2014 - 01:19 p.m.

    Thats so good last winter was miserable I am looking forward to a ok winter. cant wait for snowball fights.I wonder if OLympia Washinton will get snow.

  • DrueMcFarland-Pet
    10/23/2014 - 01:31 p.m.

    I think that's good because last winter it was horrible.
    I was cold and it did not stop snowing until the end of January.
    I learned that its not going to be a bad winter this year.
    last year its snowed like crazy,.

  • annari-Sch
    10/23/2014 - 02:00 p.m.

    I'm glad that last winter is not going to repeat it's self this year. I wasn't able to go outside often because I don't have very good equipment for cold winters.

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