Chicago Weather: NOAA winter forecast favors milder, drier season for Midwest

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you're not a fan of a lot of snow and like it warmer, then you may enjoy the latest Winter Outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. NOAA released their Winter Forecast for the entire United States today, and along with the most of the country, the Midwest looks drier and milder!

Drier than average conditions are forecasted across the Great Lakes and parts of the Midwest. This could mean less snow, even for the heavy hit Lake Effect Snow Regions.

With this in mind, it doesn't mean we should ditch our winter gear. In any winter, there is still the possibility of arctic outbreaks and heavy snow storms. Remember, it only takes one big storm to change the game.

As we head into the winter season, our ABC7 AccuWeather Team reminds you that periods of cold temperatures and snowfall will still occur, so plan ahead and be prepared for all elements that come with winter weather including snow, sleet, and ice.

Milder weather is also anticipated with a 30-40 percent chance of above normal temperatures across the Great Lakes according to NOAA. The reason for milder weather which is also forecasted across the Western half of the country is the developing weak El Nino in the equatorial Pacific Waters. These warmer temperatures tend to bring milder winters into the USA.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center states, "Although a weak El Ninois expected, it may still influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the Southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the north."

With a weak El Nino in place, its important to remember that other climate patterns can affect winter weather and there will be challenges over the next couple of months. The official start to the winter season is December 21, which is just 63 days away.

NOAA's seasonal outlooks give the likelihood that the temperature and precipitation will be above-, near-, or below-average. The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. Click here for the full winter outlook.
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