Winter forecast: A warmer North, wetter South because of El Nino, climate change

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast a warmer North and a wetter South for the upcoming U.S. winter season, citing the influence of a strong El Nino and climate change.

Winter forecast: The North is expected to experience warmer than usual weather while the South will be subjected to increased storms and rainfall.
* Parts of the East Coast, particularly the Mid-Atlantic, may experience more snow than usual due to potential Nor’easters.
* No part of the U.S. is expected to be cooler than normal this winter.
* Most of the country is either forecast to be hotter than normal or have equal chances for average, warm, or cold temperatures.

Impact of El Nino: El Nino causes warmer global temperatures and shifts weather patterns, especially during the winter.
* Strong El Nino conditions affect the path of the jet stream, leading to warmer and wetter Pacific air plunging south, resulting in increased rain in the South and increased storminess in the late winter.
* This explains the anticipated changes in weather patterns across the U.S., particularly increased rainfall and storms in the South and warmer weather in the North.

Climate change effect: Climate change has contributed to the warming trend, particularly in winter seasons.
* Average winter temperatures in the Lower 48 have increased by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 40 years, according to NOAA data.
* The recorded record hot summer temperatures and warmer ocean temperatures are also expected to influence the winter climate.

Other forecasts: Meteorologists from other organizations have similar winter forecasts.
* Atmospheric Environmental Research also anticipates a generally mild winter, while AccuWeather projects less warmth than NOAA, anticipating cooler than normal conditions in various Southern states and regions.
* Some regions, like Mid-Atlantic, should be prepared for unpredictably fluctuating weather conditions, including potentially major snowstorms.

View original article on NPR

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