In lieu of the winter weather prognostication of the late Willard Jones, we are forced to rely on the National Weather Service.|
Most of the United States can look forward to a mild winter with above-average temperatures, particularly in Alaska, Hawaii and the northern and western states, says NWS.
Below-average temperatures are expected to be scarce in every part of the U.S., but there's likely to be plenty of snow or rain, with wetter-than-average conditions predicted for the southern part of the country and up into the mid-Atlantic states.
Northern Florida and southern Georgia have the highest probability of experiencing a wetter-than-average winter, according to the report.
Though El Niño is still taking shape, there's a very good chance — about 70 to 75 percent — that it will emerge over the next few months and persist through the winter.
This phenomenon heats the air above the water and sets up a feedback loop between the sea and the atmosphere, which can dramatically impact weather patterns.
A powerful El Niño can bring unusually warm winter temperatures to the U.S. The winter of 2015 to 2016, which took place during the strongest El Niño in 60 years, was the warmest winter on record for the continental U.S.
However, this year's El Niño is anticipated to be much weaker.
Willard Jones was often frustrated with long drawn out TV forecasts, saying, "After you watched, you couldn't cipher what the weather was going to be," alluding to the good old days when the weather man would just say "rain."
Willard's winter weather forecasts always said, "It's going to get really cold in February.