He said there is a chance El Nino could reach moderate strength and a "blob" of warm water setting up in the Northeast Pacific Ocean could set up a jet stream pattern that maximizes the delivery of cold air into the eastern United States.
-Even during a warmer than normal winter, it will still get cold and snow is still likely to occur.
El Nino has a 70 to 75 percent chance of developing, it will likely be in place by late fall/early winter.
While El Nino is the biggest factor in the forecast, long-term warming from human-caused climate change is a factor, too, Halpert said.
- Wetter-than-average conditions are favored across the southern tier of the USA, and up into the Mid-Atlantic.
El Nino tends to generate an active subtropical jet stream that would hike precipitation across the southern half of the country, including in Southern California, where beneficial rains could swiftly morph into threatening flooding and mudslides.
Strictly looking at El Niño, this winter is lining up most closely to the winter of 2014-2015.
"We're expecting this El Nino to be much weaker than that one", Halpert said.
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In the valley of the Tennessee, the OH valley and mid-Atlantic States (NJ, NY, MD and PA), the temperature will be or on the secondary level or above.
Even so, it's no time to ditch the shovels and heavy winter jackets, with NOAA warning that its forecast does not mean the winter of 2018-2019 will not feature major snowstorms. The warmest conditions were found in the Southwest.
It also said that wetter-than-average conditions are likely across the southern part of the USA, and up into the Mid-Atlantic.
How confident should you be in this outlook?
Much of the state has at least a 33 percent chance of a warmer than normal season, with areas nearer the northwest corner of Kansas having at least a 40 percent chance of a warmer season, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said in a news release.
It is also predicting lots of snow "for the Great Lakes states, Midwest, and central and northern New England, with the majority of it falling in January and February".