Winter Forecast Holds More Cold

The chilly blasts felt over much of the nation in recent days are a preview of winter, the National Weather Service said today.

“There is a good chance of seeing a couple more major cold outbreaks and considerable swings in temperature and precipitation across the nation,” said Weather Service Director Jack Kelly.

Kelly’s comments came as his agency updated its long-range winter forecast.

Chill Will Linger

He said cold temperatures are expected to continue through the next two weeks in the Western and Southern states, the Great Lakes region and New England.

“The recent cold spell, including the ice storms, is an example of what most of the nation will likely face throughout the winter,” Kelly said. “Take precautions now to prepare for this winter, because it’s here.”

The Cold Spots

A rundown of the updated 2001 forecast, as compared with “normal” or average conditions between 1961-1990:

Colder than normal for the southern half of Alaska.

Colder than normal in a region including Idaho, eastern Washington and Oregon, northern Nevada and Utah, the westernmost sections of Montana and Wyoming, and northwest Colorado.

Colder than normal in the Dakotas, northeast Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and northern Illinois and Indiana.

Colder and wetter than normal in northern Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania and central and western New York.

The Wet or Warm Spots

Wetter than normal in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, western Virginia, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, southeast Missouri, Arkansas, northeast Texas, northern Louisiana, the northern half of Mississippi and Alabama and northern edge of Georgia.

Warmer than normal in interior Southern California, Arizona, the southern half of New Mexico, southern two-thirds of Texas, and southern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Warmer and drier than normal in Florida and southeastern Georgia.