Wisconsin's upcoming winter looks likely to be warmer and drier than normal.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Thursday winter outlook predicts the main influence is potential El Nino conditions.
A strong El Nino heavily moderates and changes the storm tracks of what America is likely to face from December to February, with an added warming boost from climate change and record hot oceans, officials at the NOAA said in releasing their winter outlook.
The forecast warmth will likely turn some storms that would have dumped snow into rain in the nation’s northern tier.
The Great Lakes region and the furthest northern parts of the nation stretching from Lake Erie to eastern Washington are forecast to be drier than normal.
Most of the country is predicted to be warmer than normal with that warmth stretching north from Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska and Nevada, along with nearly all of California. The rest of the nation is forecast to be near normal or have equal chances for warm, cold or normal. NOAA doesn’t predict any part of the U.S. to be cooler than normal this winter.
All this is because of El Nino, which is a natural periodic warming of parts of the Pacific that changes weather patterns worldwide and generally heats up global temperatures, Gottschalk and other NOAA scientists said. El Nino has its strongest effects, especially in the United States, during the winter. That's when it sends the jet stream, which moves storm fronts, on an unusual path that is dominated by warmer and wetter Pacific air plunging south.
The private firm AccuWeather forecasts below-average snowfall in Boston, New York City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Chicago, and Minneapolis, with near average in Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia and more than normal in Denver.