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

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El Nino has a 70 to 75 percent chance of developing, it will likely be in place by late fall/early winter.

There's a lot more than just an El Nino pattern that determines how winter will play out.

On October 18th, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center released the 2018/2019 winter outlook- December to February- for temperature, precipitation and drought.

The prospect of stormy conditions in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic means it has the greatest chance of having colder-than-normal conditions of anywhere in the country, Halpert said. In terms of precipitation, the line dividing drier-than-average conditions and normal conditions falls right through central Wisconsin with the eastern part of our state looking at 33% chance for drier-than-average conditions and western half of our state looking at normal conditions. In other words, if this pans out, weather like we've seen the past couple weeks (hopefully sans flooding) may be more frequent than most winters.

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-No part of the U.S.is favored to have below-average temperatures. Northern Florida and southern Georgia have the greatest odds for above-average precipitation this winter.

If the snowfall earlier this week reminded you how much you don't like the winter cold, you may be in luck.

Of course, that's just a prediction, and a rough one at that.

In fact, Halper said, nowhere in the U.S.is expected to be colder than normal; continuing a national trend over the past several years.

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But they are expected to get better in Arizona and New Mexico, southern parts of Utah and Colorado, the coastal Pacific Northwest and the Central Plains, NOAA said. "The maps show only the most likely category with higher probability indicating greater confidence".

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 tropical Pacific has gradually warmed recently, leading to the expectation that an El Nino will develop and affect weather during December, January and February, the federal agency said.

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