Kansas likely to see milder than average winter, NOAA says

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Temperatures are not expected to dip below average anywhere in the country from December to February, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Thursday in its "Winter Outlook".

Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, predicts that this year's El Nino is expected to be weak, so other climate patterns that can affect winter weather are challenging to predict on a seasonal time scale.

"That does not mean that below average temperatures can not occur", Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement. 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.

In the U.S. Winter Outlook for December through February, above-average temperatures are most likely across the northern and western U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.

While this obviously shouldn't be taken as gospel, it does give us a brief look at what we can expect heading into the winter season. During the winter, typical El Nino conditions in the USA can include wetter-than-average precipitation in the South and drier conditions in parts of the North.

The Climate Prediction Center's outlook seems to at least indirectly contradict the one released by the 2019 Farmers' Almanac, an annual Lewiston-based publication which uses a mathematical and astronomical formula created in 1818 to come up with long-range forecasts.

The Southeast, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic can go any which way on temperature, Halpert said.

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"Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across the southern tier of the USA, and up into the Mid-Atlantic", NOAA said in a statement. "There's a 70-to-75 percent chance El Nino will develop in the next few months".

Meantime, drier-than-average conditions are expected for the Great Lakes and portions of the Northern Rockies and the Northern Plains.

Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the U.S., extending up into the Mid-Atlantic.

Overall, no part of the U.S.is forecast to have below-average temperatures.

-This outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. That means, invariably, some areas will experience conditions opposite the most likely forecast even if most locations are correctly predicted, Halpert said. "Even during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are still likely to occur", the agency stated.

NOAA also doesn't forecast specific snow ranges for the season as there's very little accuracy this far out.

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