Home heating 101: six cold facts on staying warm this winter

Oil prices are high, while natural gas and electric costs have either stayed the same or gone lower. Here is the outlook for the winter home heating season.

6. What is the winter weather forecast?

The worst this winter is expected to offer will be in the Pacific Northwest, northern Plains, the Great Lakes area, and New England, according to AccuWeather's chief long-range forecaster, Joe Bastardi. Unlike last winter, the South is expected to see above normal temperatures.

The main climatological reason for the extremes is the La Niña pattern, in which sea-surface temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific are below normal.

"La Niña winters are typically synonymous with harsh conditions across the northern tier of the United States and drier-than-normal conditions throughout the southern tier," says Mr. Bastardi.

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