Feds predict cooler northern US, warmer south this winter

Feds predict cooler northern US, warmer south this winter
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Federal meteorologists are predicting that the northern United States will be cooler and wetter this winter than last year, while the southern part of the country will be warmer and drier.

The predictions were part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual winter outlook released Thursday.

NOAA said it is likely that the La Nina climate pattern will develop this winter, which lowers sea surface temperature in the central Pacific Ocean.

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For the United States, La Nina would reduce precipitation across much of the South, with limited increases in the far north.

“If La Nina conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement.

“Typical La Nina patterns during winter include above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the U.S. and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South,” he said.

Drought conditions are likely to persist in the Great Plains and in some small areas of the South despite the predicted increase in precipitation predicted for much of the country.