NEW YORK (AP). Expect drier and warmer winters in the south and wetter winters in the north, US government forecasters said Thursday.
The National Weather Service has predicted that two-thirds of the United States will experience above average temperatures from December to February, while the Pacific Northwest and southern Alaska are likely to become colder than usual. Above normal rainfall should be expected in the Midwest, Northwest and Hawaii, while less rainfall in the South.
As the US enters its second consecutive year of La Niña, these weather conditions across the country are typical, according to John Gottschalk of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
La Nina, the other side of El Niño, is the periodic cooling of parts of the Pacific Ocean, affecting weather conditions around the world.
Dry winters in the south mean worsening droughts in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Southern California and other western states.
However, the Pacific Northwest “does stand out” as having the best chance of improving drought conditions, said NOAA’s Brad Pugh.
Gottschalk also said that the likelihood that the northeast and Texas will experience the paralyzing blizzards that closed cities last winter is less than usual.