NOAA predicts another cold one

The Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts this winter may resemble last winter, with periods of below normal cold and large temperature swings.

At a news conference in Washington, D.C., officials from NOAA released the nation's official winter outlook, and said the absence of a strong El Niño or La Niña climate pattern leaves the door open for a highly variable winter, which will impact the winter weather extremes such as cold, snow, rain and ice that the nation may experience.

"We don't expect a repeat of the record-breaking cold temperatures of November-December of last year, but this winter should be cooler than the warm winters of the late 1990s," said Scott Gudes, NOAA's acting administrator. "Citizens should prepare for the full range of winter weather."

Regional Outlooks

--In the Northeast, colder-than-normal temperatures are expected. Snowfall for the entire region will depend on the fluctuations of the Arctic Oscillation.

--The Mid-Atlantic States have equal chances of above normal, normal, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Storm tracks could bring more snow than the winters of the late 1990s, but this largely depends on the Arctic Oscillation.

--The Southeast should be drier than normal. Temperatures have an equal chance of averaging above normal, normal or below normal.

--In the upper Midwest and Great Lakes, temperatures should be lower than normal, with more sub-zero days than the average of recent winters. There are equal chances for cumulative precipitation to be above normal, normal, or below normal.

--The northern Great Plains and Rockies should see below-normal temperatures with more sub-zero days than experienced on average during the winters of the late 1990s, but wet and mild weather is more likely for the southern Plains. The central Rockies can expect equal chances of above normal, normal, or below-normal precipitation and temperatures.

--In the Northwest, there are equal chances for above normal, normal, or below-normal rain and snow. Heavy coastal rain events are more likely compared to the previous three winters. A repeat of the near-record dryness seen last winter is unlikely.

--Expect warmer-than-normal temperatures in most of the Southwest (except western California) and equal chances of above normal, normal or below-normal precipitation.

--Southwestern Alaska can expect a wet winter. The rest of Alaska and all of Hawaii can expect equal chance of above normal, normal, or below normal temperatures and precipitation.

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