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NOAA Predicts Mild Michigan Winter Ahead

22 October 2018

"We expect El Nino to be in place in late fall to early winter", said NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Deputy Director Mike Halpert, according to CNN.

There's a lot more than just an El Nino pattern that determines how winter will play out.

The 2018 Winter Weather Outlook predicts warmer than normal conditions for much of the northern and western United States.

The Southeast, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic can go any which way.

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According to the center's 2018-2019 winter outlook report released Thursday, each New England state is likely to be warmer than average in December, January and February.

Eric Kurth, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Sacramento office, said that although the north coast can expect average precipitation this winter, it will be an increase from the drier-than-average conditions of a year ago, which may help clear up some short-term drought conditions in those regions.

What will determine just how wet the Carolinas' winter could be is El Niño, "an ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that is linked to periodic warming in sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific". This video below explains El Nino further and provides greater details about NOAA's winter outlook.

"No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures", Halpert said. Even so, the NOAA forecast indicates "equal chances" of above-, normal or below-normal temperatures in this zone. The center has given much of the Southern United States, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay, a clear chance of a wetter winter, with pockets of drought around the Dakotas and the Great Lakes.

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Along with Michigan, Halper said northern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin are expected to be drier than normal, along with parts of Idaho, Hawaii and Montana, too.

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.

The next update from NOAA will come mid-November.

Last winter ranked among the warmest third in historical records, 1.8 degrees above normal averaged over the nation.

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NOAA Predicts Mild Michigan Winter Ahead