La Nina to influence winter weather, officials predict

Pauline Gross
October 22, 2017

NOAA said data favor wetter-than-average conditions across most of the northern USA, from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes.

Today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the winter outlook for the entire United States.

Deputy director for NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Mark Halpert says La Nina conditions are likely to emerge...and that would impact winter weather conditions for much of the country. Most of the northern US has at least about a 30% chance of a wetter than usual winter, while much of the southern USA has odds between about 30% and greater than 50% of a drier than usual winter. La Nina, the flip side of El Nino, is the periodic cooling of the central Pacific Ocean that affects weather patterns around the globe. The 2015-2016 winter was record warm, about 4.55 degrees hotter than normal.

The weather is always tough to predict in the U.P., especially in the winter.

The climate signals in these areas are not strong enough to tilt the odds either way, NOAA said.

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Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across most of the northern United States, extending from the northern Rockies, to the eastern Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, in Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.

More snow than normal is expected for Chicago this winter.

Halpert said the southern U.S.is likely to be drier than normal, while the north from eastern Washington through the Great Lakes to update NY is likely to be wetter.

Mt. Baker Ski Area is gearing up for the season, which usually begins between November 19-22, depending on the amount and quality of snowfall, officials said on their snow report.

Pastelok expects Arctic blasts to freeze the northern Plains this winter with temperatures sinking to subzero levels on a regular basis.

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