The winter forecast is in and it looks like El Niño may have some good news

The National Weather Service released its winter outlook Thursday, saying El Niño will bring higher temperatures and rainfall than usual this winter.

NOAA/AP
The three-month temperature and precipitation forecasts for the US say El Nino is about to leave a big, wet, but not necessarily snowy footprint on much of the United States, including parched California. NOAA on Thursday issued a winter forecast, heavily influenced by one of the strongest El Niños on record.

Thanks to El Niño, this winter in the United States is expected to be warmer and wetter than most, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

This brings good news for drought-ridden regions like California and the Southwest. There is a 70 percent chance for more much-needed rain in the South. Experts note, however, that one season won’t immediately solve all their water problems.

More rain could also lead to safety hazards for residents of California, such as flooding and mudslides, warns private weather forecaster AccuWeather. “California will be much more active weather-wise this winter than last winter," meteorologist Ben Noll said.

Those in Boston and New York still scarred from last year's excessive snowfall will be pleased to hear that there is a 60 percent chance for warmer weather across the northern US, while Northern Alaska and Hawaii will face drier conditions, according to Live Science.

America’s central states are usually less affected, and this year there is an equal chance of their temperature and rainfall going in either direction, the NWS said.

While forecasters can’t be certain where this year’s El Niño will rank in terms of strength, it is already predicted to be among the top three on record since 1950, an official told The Washington Post.

“The driver of this winter's outlook is El Nino,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of National Ocean Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.

Winter is still coming, however. “El Niño is not the only player,” Mr. Halpert cautioned. “Cold-air outbreaks and snow storms will likely occur at times this winter.”

El Niño, which comes every two to five years, is caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean around the equator. While its effects are often profound in the US, its events also change weather patterns across the globe.

This report contains material from The Associated Press. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.