OCT 25, 2016 3:58 AM PDT

Looking Ahead to Winter

Most people have heard about the weather patterns known as El Nino and El Nina. Depending on which one is happening, temperatures and precipitation is affected. Last winter was the warmest on record in the United States and while the pattern of El Nino was in place, it didn't bring desperately needed rain to drought areas and the high temps keep snow at bay in many places. So, now that it's fall and we are looking again at weather, what do the experts say about what to expect this winter?

It starts with the sea temperatures in the tropical Pacific. They are cooler this year, however the La Nina pattern is in place and that means that warmer than normal temperatures are expected over the southern half of the US with less precipitation as well. It's also going to be warmer in Alaska and parts of northern New England, so skiers might get a rest this season. Where's the deep freeze? Along the northern border, from Montana to western Michigan. Above average amount of snow could hit the Rockies. The La Nina pattern is weak this year, so these forecasts can't be carved in stone. NOAA crunches a lot of data to make these predictions, but Mother Nature usually gets the last word.
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