Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter: A mild outlook

Government winer forecast has warm look in much of the nation.

Winter: A mild outlook

Accu-Weather, the commercial service in State College, already has made as splash by calling for a snowier-than-normal winter along the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast coasts.

The government's Climate Prediction Center doesn't get into snow forecasts, but the winter outlook it posted this week offers some hope for those wouldn't mind a repeat or last winter, or a reasonable facsimile.

The climate center is saying the odds are tilted toward above-normal temperatures in about 60 percent of the country, from North Carolina to Idaho, in the Dec. 1-Feb. 28 period, and in Alaska.

Usually, you can count on the weather in Anchorage being the mirror opposite of Philadelphia's.

But this winter will be influenced by El Nino, the government says. Sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are above normal, and likely to stay that way.

Given that weather moves west to east, once again El Nino will have some impact on the weather here and in Alaska, but it's not clear precisely what.

In the discussion released Thursday, the climate center says this is unlikely to be a strong El Nino, but it will be enough to affect the U.S. winter.

As always, the course of the winter will depend mightily on air-pressure patterns in the far North Atlantic, which are not predictable over the long haul.



Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

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Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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