Most of the US should expect warmer-than-normal winter, forecasters say

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About two-thirds of the US is forecasted to have a warmer-than-normal winter this year, with worsening droughts more likely than typical northeastern blizzards, according to a report.

Of the entire US, only Washington, northern Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas and parts of Minnesota are expected to see temperatures dip below normal, forecasters told The Associated Press.

The entire southern section of the United States, from California to North Carolina, is expected to have a dry winter, which may worsen droughts in the Southwest, according to the report.

The dry winter could be a “big punch” for the region, NOAA drought expert David Miskus told the news agency. Some 45 percent of the US is currently experiencing a drought, the highest level in nearly a decade.

Parts of the northern US — from Washington to Michigan — are expected to see a wetter-than-normal winter, while the rest of the country will experience usual winter weather.

The warmer and drier weather is being driven by La Nina, the cyclical cooling of the Pacific Ocean, according to the NOAA experts.

Blizzards are typical during La Nina’s companion phase, El Nino — when the Pacific is warming — so the northeast should also not expect large blizzards this year.

With Post wires

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