Don't expect another winter like last one!
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!
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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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  • madisonm-Sch
    10/23/2014 - 02:10 p.m.

    I think that its gonna be a milder winter because of the different weather change. Its good that its not gonna be a bad winter then we don't have to suffer.

  • ShaunFootball100
    10/23/2014 - 02:53 p.m.

    I tjink it would be awsome to get a bunch of snow. Snow is awesome and i would love to be in it . Last this was an interesting story

  • ShaunFootball100
    10/23/2014 - 02:53 p.m.

    I tjink it would be awsome to get a bunch of snow. Snow is awesome and i would love to be in it . Last this was an interesting story

  • ConnorK-2
    10/23/2014 - 07:41 p.m.

    Winter is a chilly time for most places on earth but in California it usually stays warm. Not this year, as experts say that we won't have a repeat weather pattern. California and Florida will be getting a cooler climate and hopefully more rain. Also, places farther north will not be getting as harsh of a snow storm. Other weather forecasts have different ideas of what this years winter will bring, some say it will be cooler, while others think it will be average. NOAA ( National oceanic and atmospheric administration) thinks that this upcoming winter won't be anything special. In my opinion California needs a harsh winter, with Harsh rain and booming thunder.

  • ksadat-5
    10/23/2014 - 08:28 p.m.

    Last year, the winter was very difficult for some people. With lots of cold weather and hardly any rain, it just didn't feel like winter... This year, the forecast looks like a regular winter; Not many terrible conditions. Over in northern England, the winter is looking as if it is going to be abnormally warm and cool. From south California up to across to Florida, it is looking like a wetter, more rain season.

    I think that California is going through a major drought... Rain is just what we need so I am crossing my fingers that the forecast is correct. This will help stop a lot of the wildfires and replenish many of the plant population. The rain will not end the drought but will certainly help.

  • altringerbertha
    10/23/2014 - 09:24 p.m.


  • ZachG-1
    10/23/2014 - 10:03 p.m.

    Through weather forecast and predictions, there won't be another insane winter. From the California drought, we certainly won't have to worry. Many people predict that it will be regular winter including NOAA, the people who didn't predict last years winter. Ryan Maue says, "A vast majority of the nation will experience significant periods of below normal temperatures."

    In my opinion i think this is bad. If snow is fresh water, and the west is in a drought, thats a bad thing if we aren't going to get as much snow. We only have winter for a couple months we might as well take advantage.

  • KeaganB-1
    10/23/2014 - 11:25 p.m.

    This year many meteorologist say we will have a colder winter than last year. This year we are suppose to have a more average winter, whether wise than last year. There should be less water in the air than last year excepted in California. There are many different ideas about the whether though this winter. Most of them are predicting not as cold as last year. This article was very interesting because I didn't know about us having cold whether.

  • jamesgooch
    10/23/2014 - 11:26 p.m.

    In this article experts predict it will not be a winter like last year, with nearly no rain fall in California. This is year the temperature is supposed to be average. With no extreme or drastic temperature drops. It is supposed to be a milder winter than last year. I found this article fascinating because it gives us information on what the winter is going to be like next year compared to this previous winter.

  • ThomasC-2
    10/23/2014 - 11:28 p.m.

    I don't exactly live in a snowy area so I'm not worried about this years winter to be honest. I am worried about the drought in California and if we could get some winter snow in the mountains that would be great. The winter last year was bad, and I know this from back round knowledge, but at least this year will be good. I'm kinda happy we aren't going to have another winter like last year and now my family will be fine. Also, the melted snow would be good for California.

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