People in small parts of the Northwest, northern Plains, and parts of Alaska are going to have a colder winter than usual this year, while most other Americans can expect a milder-than-average winter, according to the NOAA's latest forecast. Mike Halpert of the Climate Prediction Center says there will likely be a La Nina weather pattern that will bring more snow than usual to the northern Rockies and the Great Lakes area, while there will be less shoveling than usual to do in the mid-Atlantic region, NPR reports. There probably will be less rainfall than usual in the South, Halpert says, but more than average in much of the northern part of the lower 48. The center says there's a 55% to 65% chance of La Nina developing.
Halpert tells the Washington Post that climate change caused by carbon emissions is certainly among the reasons why most of the US will have a warmer-than-average winter, though he says that unlike the previous two winters, this one is unlikely to break records. Despite a higher-than-average precipitation forecast, drought could develop in parts of the South, the NOAA says. But is the forecast accurate? CNN looks at the accuracy of the NOAA's forecast for last year and gives it a passing grade, noting that it was right about above-average temperatures across the South, though people in the Northwest had a far colder winter than the NOAA predicted.