It's going to be a warm, wet winter for most of US

NOAA predicting mild winter in New England – Boston News, Weather, Sports

"Even during a warmer-than-average winter, periods of cold temperatures and snowfall are still likely to occur", the agency stated in its outlook.

The NOAA outlook covers the months of December, January and February, when the average high temperatures in Portland are 37 degrees, 31 degrees and 35 degrees, respectively.

"We expect El Nino to be in place in late fall to early winter", said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, in a statement.

An overall mild winter is expected when it comes to temperatures, with most of the US expected to see warmer than normal temperatures, some much warmer than normal, according to the NOAA outlook from its Climate Prediction Center. They also said the El Nino will have a 70 percent to 75 percent chance of happening.

El Nino is an ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that is linked to periodic warming in sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. This change in sea surface temperature has a wide range of effects on seasonal weather patterns across the globe, but in the USA, an El Niño typically means warmer winter temperatures, and higher levels of precipitation in certain regions of the country.

The northern Rockies, northern Plains, Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley are likely to see below-average precipitation, including snow.

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

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The northwestern United States, including parts of Northern California near the OR border, is likely to see the highest chances of warmer temperatures.

But North and SC, along with much of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic, the Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valley, "all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures", NOAA said.

Kentucky has equal chances for both above and below average temperatures according to NOAA's outlook. "The maps show only the most likely category with higher probability indicating greater confidence".

A mild winter could be in store for much of the United States, according to the seasonal forecast released Thursday by NOAA.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center updates the three-month outlook each month.

Meanwhile, the southern-third of the USA and much of the East Coast could be hunkering down for a wetter than normal December through January. The next update will be posted on November 15.

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