NOAA's winter forecast is in, and it looks frozen for us

The official outlook expects drier than normal conditions across the southern half of the United States, with wetter than normal conditions from parts of the northwest, across to the Great Lakes region.

Scientists from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said there is a 55 percent to 65 percent chance of La Nina weather conditions developing before winter begins - the second straight La Nina winter. Most of the northern US has at least about a 30% chance of a wetter than usual winter, while much of the southern USA has odds between about 30% and greater than 50% of a drier than usual winter. The 2015-2016 winter was record warm, about 4.55 degrees hotter than normal. It has extensive effects on the weather in North America and can affect Atlantic and Pacific hurricane seasons.

Other climate influences are less predictable, like the Arctic Oscillation, which we can see drive winter patterns about one week to two weeks out.

The rest of the country falls into the "equal chance" category, which means there is an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures because there is not a strong enough climate signal in these areas to shift the odds.

NOAA released its winter outlook on Thursday.

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According to NOAA's projections, wetter-than-average conditions are favored across most of the northern United States, extending from the northern Rockies, to the eastern Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, in Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.

Private forecasting firm Accuweather agrees that a La Nina pattern is likely to emerge with the start of winter.

More snow than normal is expected for Chicago this winter. However, much of the southern USA would be drier than normal.

The agency's winter outlook will be updated on November 16.

  • Megan Austin