By day – Forecasters predict warmer winter for two-thirds of the United States

NEW YORK (AP) – Expect a drier, warmer winter in the south and a wetter winter in the north, US government forecasters said Thursday.

The National Weather Service has predicted that two-thirds of the United States will see above-average temperatures from December through February, while the Pacific Northwest and southern Alaska are likely to become colder than usual. The Midwest, Northwestern states and Hawaii should expect above normal precipitation while the South will expect less.

As the United States enters La Nina’s second straight year, these weather conditions across the country are typical, said Jon Gottschalck of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

La Nina, the flip side of El Nino, is the periodic cooling of parts of the Pacific, affecting weather patterns around the world.

A dry winter in the south means worsening drought in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, southern California, and other western states.

However, the Pacific Northwest “really stands out” for having the best chance of improving drought conditions, NOAA’s Brad Pugh said.

Gottschalck also said it would be less likely than normal for the northeast and Texas to experience crippling blizzards that shut down cities last winter.

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The Associated Press’s Department of Health and Science receives support from the Department of Science Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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