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States from the Pacific Northwest through the Northern Plains and into the Northeast are likely to see above-average temperatures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center reported. He also forecasted a warm winter, heavily based on weak snowfall in Siberia.

While this upcoming winter isn't expected to be exactly the same as four years ago, this most recent forecast from the Climate Prediction Center certainly gives us a better idea, as well as extra time to prepare for what is likely to come between the months of December and February.

Additionally, El Nino has a 70 to 75 percent chance of developing.

Another factor in the forecast, Halper said, is long-term warming from human-caused climate change.

"The last four winters had all been very warm actually; nearly coast-to-coast", Halper told WWJ's Michael Cohen.

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

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

PRECIPITATION: Halpert said the southern one-third of the United States and much of the East Coast could be facing a wetter-than-normal December and January.

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"No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures", Halpert said.

If NOAA's outlook holds true and much of the nation is milder than normal, it will mark the fourth straight warmer-than-normal winter for the Lower 48.

Of course, forecasting the weather is notoriously hard and the predictions made by the forecasters are subject to change.

Warmer-than-normal conditions are anticipated across much of the northern and western USA, with the greatest likelihood in Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains.

While natural fluctuations play a significant role in the flavor of a given winter, the rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is stacking the deck in favor of warm winters.

Overall the winter looks a lot like the last few, Halpert said.

"Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance".

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.


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