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National Weather Service releases winter precipitation, temperature predictions

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Forecasters at the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center issued the “U.S. Winter Outlook” on Thursday.

The report, which applies to December 2015 through February 2016, favors more precipitation in southern states and average temperatures.

“A strong El Niño is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. “While temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are favored, El Niño is not the only player. Cold air outbreaks and snowstorms will likely occur at times this winter. However, the frequency, number and intensity of these events cannot be predicted on a seasonal timescale.”

Wetter-than-average conditions are most likely in the southern part of the United States, from central and southern California, across Texas, to Florida and up the East Coast to southern New England, the report said.

The seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations.

To view the full report, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.