Wet and mild: Warm winter predicted for much of the U.S.

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Mike Halpert, Deputy Director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, says their forecast calls for above average temperatures and below average precipitation for both the Lower and Upper Peninsula. Currently, a weak El Niño is expected to develop during the winter.

Don't reach for those hand-warmers just yet - it may be a mild winter in most of the United States this year.

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

-The Southeast, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures.

The weather services forecast doesnt look at snow likelihood. On Thursday, NOAA released their annual 2018-19 Winter Outlook.

Because of the uncertainty in seasonal prediction, NOAA's winter outlook is probabilistic in nature, meaning that a range of outcomes is possible in any area.

Зима в Соединенных Штатах обещает быть необычайно мягкой
Source NOAA

El Nino is a fluctuation of temperature of surface layer water in the Equatorial Pacific ocean has a significant influence on climate.

Other climate patterns that can affect winter weather are challenging to predict on a seasonal time scale. Wetter conditions are in store for much of the southern USA, up into the mid-Atlantic while drier conditions are likely for the northern Rockies, Northern Plains, northern Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.

- No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures.

Drought conditions are forecast to stay put this winter in the Southwest, Southern California, central Great Basin, central Rockies, Northern Plains and portions of the interior Pacific Northwest.

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.

Overall, however, the western half of the country experienced warmer-than-average temperatures while the eastern half received the colder air. "The maps show only the most likely category with higher probability indicating greater confidence". But in case you need some talking down, a new forecast from NOAA says that at the very least, it won't be a nightmare this year.

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