Once a month the Climate Prediction Center(CPC) updates their forecasts for the next several months. For the last few months they have predicted a mild winter across the South and much of the Midwest with near normal conditions elsewhere. The reason for the warmth is because of a La Nina pattern which persists in the Pacific Ocean. Basically, ocean temperatures are cooler than normal in the equatorial Pacific and that typically correlates to warmer than normal conditions in the Southeast. The one wild card is the North Atlantic Oscillation(NAO). We could see much colder weather in January if a negative phase of the NAO develops. The negative phase occurs when a large high pressure ridge n the upper atmosphere develops in the northern Atlantic Ocean near Greenland and forces cold air southward into the eastern United States. So far there is no indication this will happen through the end of December so no severe cold is expected through the holiday season. We should see seasonable weather conditions for the most part for the next two weeks. The Climate Prediction Center will update their forecast for January by the end of December since looking ahead a month or more can be risky at best. I'll keep you updated.
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