Chill Out - Maine Could Have A Milder-Than-Average Winter

A plow makes its way under a railroad bridge as light snow falls during a snowstorm March 21 in Lebanon N.J

A plow makes its way under a railroad bridge as light snow falls during a snowstorm March 21 in Lebanon N.J

This winter may be different, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday in its annual winter outlook.

The NOAA prediction has contradicted the Farmer's Almanac prediction, which said the winter will be harsh this season.

Warmer-than-normal conditions are anticipated across much of the northern and western USA, with the greatest likelihood in Alaska and from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains.

The organization's predictive maps placed ME in a sweeping band of orange, signifying that center forecasters believe the state is among those with a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of being "warmer than normal".

The outlook says El Nino has a 70 to 75 percent chance of developing. However, Halper said, it's not expected to be quite as strong as the El Nino that helped lead to the record warm 2015-2016 winter season.

The Climate Prediction Center issues updates its 3-month outlooks once per month, NOAA said, and the next update for this winter is expected November 15.

The Southeast, Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic can go any which way on temperature, Halpert said.

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- No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures. The chances are highest in southeastern Georgia and much of northern and Central Florida.

Drought conditions may worsen in much of Southern and Central California, although the north coast of California may see some relief, according to NOAA.

Drought conditions are anticipated to improve in areas throughout Arizona and New Mexico, southern sections of Utah and Colorado, the coastal Pacific Northwest and the Central Plains.

The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center posts its three-month outlook once a month.

The Farmer's Almanac said that for its winter outlook, the temperatures are going to be cold with "plenty of snow". The real teeth-chattering arrives mid-February especially in the following zones: "Northeast/New England, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Midwest, and Southeast (yes, even the Southeast will be in the chill zone!)".

Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, parts of Idaho, Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Indiana and OH are forecast to be drier than normal, with the biggest likelihood in Hawaii, Montana and Michigan.

The outlook does not include seasonal snowfall accumulations, but it is being predicted that New England, similar to last year's forecast, has an equal chance of seeing above, near, or below normal precipitation.

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