For many parts of the United States, the heat has been unbearable this year. As a matter of fact, the U.S. is on track for 2012 being the hottest year ever (well, since the modern record-keeping begun back in the 1800’s anyway).
With the current trend over the past 10 months, weather experts are predicting a warm winter that will probably put 2012 into the record books.
According to Planetark:
Drought that ravaged much of the United States this year may spread in the coming months, said Mike Halpert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.
“The large majority of that drought we expect to persist,” Halpert said. “We even see drought expanding westward … into Montana, Idaho and part of Oregon and Washington.”
For most of the Pacific Northwest, dryer than usual is expected, while the Gulf Coast may see higher than normal precipitation, according to NOAA forecasts. The rest of the U.S. could see fluctuations in weather patterns from high and low temperatures to moderate to low precipitation.
Still, there is enough data to predict a warm winter overall, said Deke Arndt, chief of climate monitoring at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The first nine months of 2012 were the warmest of any year on record in the contiguous United States, and this has been the third-hottest summer since record-keeping began.
“The main issues facing the U.S. going into this (winter) outlook period stem from persistent heat and drought,” Arndt said at a telephone briefing. “It is likely that 2012 will be the warmest of the 118-year record for the contiguous United States.”
The El Niño pattern that we are a custom to seeing — where a patch of warmer than usual water develops in the equatorial Pacific — didn’t happen this year. This is the first time this has happened in approximately 60 years of record-keeping on this phenomenon.
“This is one of the most challenging outlooks we’ve produced in recent years because El Niño decided not to show up as expected,” he said.
A record-warm winter would be in line NOAA’s latest report on global temperatures, which found September 2012 tied for the hottest September in world records going back to 1880.
So, according to the forecast, it looks like there might be a mild warm winter throughout the United States this year, but for some reason I’m getting the feeling the East Coast is going to get hammered this winter. Guess we will find out soon enough.