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NOAA calls for mild winter nationwide

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Much of the U.S. can expect a mild winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency released its seasonal outlook this week that covers December 2018 through February 2019. The forecast expects mostly warmer-than-normal weather this winter for the western two-thirds of the country, with no areas of the U.S. expected to see prevalent cooler-than-normal conditions.

As for precipitation, much of the lower Southwest, Mid-South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have the greatest chance to see wetter-than-normal conditions this winter. Parts of the Great Lakes Region and portions of Montana and the western Dakotas are more likely to see drier-than-normal conditions. Much of the rest of the country has equal chances to see wetter or drier weather this winter, NOAA predicts.

The agency’s precipitation map, in particular, looks a lot like how a signature El NiƱo winter typically plays out in the U.S. That’s no accident – with NOAA currently pegging the chance of those conditions developing this winter between 70 and 75 percent.