Toss-up winter weather prediction offered by NOAA

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic temps and precipitation unknowable, authority says

October 20, 2011|By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

You may need your mittens more frequently than normal this winter. Or not, apparently.

Maryland's winter temperatures and precipitation are equally likely to be above, near or below normal, according to an assessment released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Across the southern United States, particularly Texas, this winter will likely be warmer and drier while the North and the Pacific Northwest will probably be wetter and colder than average, according to the report.

The winter weather for the North, South and West are more predictable when the Pacific Ocean along the equator is cooler than normal, a phenomenon called La Nina.

Weather during the winter months in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions is not influenced as greatly by La Nina. Instead, the weather in these parts of the country are more dependent on erratic phases of cold air pushed into the U.S. from Canada, NOAA said.

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