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NOAA's Winter Outlook Leans Warmer Than Normal

Plunging temps could lead to icy conditions following storm (WBFF)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the "Winter Outlook" Thursday and it looks like it will be warmer than normal around D.C.

A weak and short-lived La Niña is forecast to develop and remain in place through the winter. This is expected to play a roll in keeping a large portion of the U.S. temperatures above average . While La Niña is a weather pattern focused on the equatorial Pacific Ocean, it can play a pretty big roll in our weather patterns.

In general, the southern and eastern U.S. are more likely to see a warmer than normal winter. This is especially true for areas in the deep south. It's important to note that this doesn't mean we'll stay warm all winter long. There will still be cold snaps and it will still feel like winter for December through February. It just means when it's all said and done there's a decent shot it will have been above average.

The climate signal for precipitation this winter is a little less helpful around the Mid-Atlantic. It looks like much of the northern U.S. could be wetter than normal and the southern U.S. will likely be drier than normal.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this wetter season is going to be drought busting for the Northern Plains. Meanwhile, drought conditions could develop farther south.

It's important to note, this does NOT mean that we wont' see snow this winter. In fact, NOAA points out that the last two winters were above average for a lot of the country, but there were still several significant snow storms along the way. Unfortunately, individual snow storms really can't be forecast this far out. It's all a matter of the right amount of cold and the right amount of moisture coming together at the same time.

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