If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predictions prove accurate, southern New England residents can expect a warmer, but still potentially wetter than usual winter when compared to the average year.
Forecasters predict a 55% to 65% chance of a La Nina pattern developing by winter.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township say that could lead to a warmer start to winter and then more cold and snow at the end of the season.
La Nina is one of the phases of the El Nino Southern Oscillation, and it occurs when ocean temperatures in the southern Pacific Ocean drop slightly below their average.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center will release an updated seasonal forecast throughout the winter.
Drier-than-normal conditions are most likely across the entire southern U.S. At the same time, warmer-than-normal conditions are most likely across the southern two-thirds of the continental U.S., along the East Coast, across Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.
The areas that fall into the unmarked sections of these maps have an equal chance of above-, near-, or higher-than-normal temperatures and precipitation levels, the NOAA says.
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The big driver in the forecast is a La Nina weather event that is likely to develop next month.
The weather is always tough to predict in the U.P., especially in the winter.
There was a La Nina for the early part of last winter.
More snow than normal is expected for Chicago this winter.
"Typical La Niña patterns during winter include above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the US and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South".
∙ Warmer-than-normal conditions are most likely across the southern two-thirds of the continental USA, along the East Coast, across Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.
The agency's winter outlook will be updated on November 16.
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