Expect warmer winter, weather expert says

But don’t rule out periods of extreme cold

Michelle Stuckey
December 16, 2011 at 9:03 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Frank Revitte, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said that this winter is predicted to be slightly warmer on average than in recent years.

Revitte said that the state is affected by a large-scale pattern called La Nina in which circulation of air over the Pacific Ocean influences weather. Those factors can indicate what the coming winter weather will be like.

"For the next three months, the chances are fairly good of temperatures being above normal," Revitte said. He said temperatures on average through the winter are predicted to be a few degrees warmer than in the past and that the season may be slightly drier.

But even if the NOAA predictions turn out to be true, Revitte said they do not rule out brief periods of extreme cold or precipitation.

"It doesn’t rule out sharp cold fronts and periodic rain events," he said. For example, he said that last February was warmer on average than in previous years, but lows still reached below 30 degrees on some days.




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