NOAA releases annual winter weather outlook

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their annual winter weather outlook for the nation.

NOAA is currently favoring a drier winter season across the southeast. According to the outlook released Thursday, South Carolina has a greater than 33% chance of seeing less precipitation than normal from December through February.

The winter temperature forecast from NOAA is less certain. They are currently predicting an equal chance of seeing below average, normal, or above average temperatures for this winter.

"It's a challenge to produce a long-term winter forecast without the climate pattern of an El Niño or a La Niña in place out in the Pacific because those climate patterns often strongly influence winter temperature and precipitation here in the United States," said Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "Without this strong seasonal influence, winter weather is often affected by short-term climate patterns, such as the Arctic Oscillation, that are not predictable beyond a week or two. So it's important to pay attention to your local daily weather forecast throughout the winter."

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