NOAA: Win­ter in Caroli­nas may be wet­ter than usual – but not likely colder

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Local - BY AB­BIE BEN­NETT aben­[email protected]­sob­server.com

The Caroli­nas can ex­pect a wet­ter than av­er­age win­ter this year, ac­cord­ing to lat­est sea­sonal fore­casts.

The Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion has re­leased its win­ter (De­cem­ber-Fe­bru­ary) weather out­look for the U.S., pre­dict­ing a wet­ter-than-nor­mal win­ter in the Caroli­nas and much of the south, con­trast­ing with drought con­di­tions in some far north­ern states.

An over­all mild win­ter is ex­pected when it comes to tem­per­a­tures, with most of the U.S. ex­pected to see warmer than nor­mal tem­per­a­tures, some much warmer than nor­mal, ac­cord­ing to the NOAA out­look from its Cli­mate Pre­dic­tion Cen­ter.

North and South Car- olina, along with much of the south­east and MidAt­lantic, the Ten­nessee Val­ley and Ohio Val­ley, “all have equal chances for be­low-, near- or aboveav­er­age tem­per­a­tures,” NOAA said.

On NOAA’s tem­per­a­ture fore­cast map, the Caroli­nas and much of the south­east and Mid-At­lantic are col­ored white, while the rest of the coun­try is cast in reds and or­anges, since those ar­eas are ex­pected to be warmer.

No part of the United States is ex­pected to have be­low-av­er­age tem­per­a­tures, ac­cord­ing to the out­look.

What will de­ter­mine just how wet the Caroli­nas’ win­ter could be is El Niño, “an ocean-at­mos­phere cli­mate in­ter­ac­tion that is linked to pe­ri­odic warm­ing in sea sur­face tem­per­a­tures in the cen- tral and east­ern equa­to­rial Pa­cific.

“Dur­ing the win­ter, typ­i­cal El Niño con­di­tions in the U.S. can in­clude wet­ter-than-av­er­age pre­cip­i­ta­tion in the South and drier con­di­tions in parts of the North,” ac­cord­ing to NOAA.

The Caroli­nas should also look out for the “Arcitc Ocil­la­tion,” which NOAA says de­ter­mines “the num­ber of arc­tic air masses that pen­e­trate into the South” and could lead to be­low-av­er­age tem­per­a­tures.

North­ern Florida and south­ern Ge­or­gia could see the wettest con­di­tions this win­ter, ac­cord­ing to NOAA, fol­lowed by cen­tral and East­ern North Carolina, much of South Carolina, Texas and New Mex­ico, north­ern Ge­or­gia and far south­ern parts of Alabama, Mis­sis­sippi, Louisiana and Texas.

For those look­ing for snow­fall pro­jec­tions, you won’t find them in NOAA’s win­ter out­look.

“Snow fore­casts are gen­er­ally not pre­dictable more than a week in ad­vance. Even dur­ing a warmer-than-av­er­age win­ter, pe­ri­ods of cold tem­per­a­tures and snow­fall are still likely to oc­cur,” NOAA said.

The Cli­mate Pre­dic­tion Cen­ter up­dates its three­month out­looks once per month, NOAA said, and the next up­date for this win­ter is ex­pected Nov. 15.

AN OVER­ALL MILD WIN­TER IS EX­PECTED WHEN IT COMES TO TEM­PER­A­TURES, WITH MOST OF THE U.S. EX­PECTED TO SEE WARMER THAN NOR­MAL TEM­PER­A­TURES, SOME MUCH WARMER THAN NOR­MAL, AC­CORD­ING TO NOAA’S CLI­MATE PRE­DIC­TION CEN­TER.

NOAA

NOAA re­leases its win­ter 2018 pre­cip­i­ta­tion out­look for the United States. Blues and greens in­di­cate wet­ter than nor­mal con­di­tions, while yel­low and or­ange show drier than nor­mal con­di­tions.

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