Unseasonably warm temperatures are likely to continue into November, not only for our neck of the woods but much of the country.
Then our winter is expected to make an about-face and go colder and snowier than normal, according to the latest analysis by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.
Temps have remained steadily warmer than normal in Lorain County this October, leading to a prolonged autumn with brilliant leaf displays in gold and red.
For instance, as this is written on Friday the 13th, the temperature at our Oberlin office is 69 degrees, well above the average historical high for the day of 63.6.
But climate scientists say La Nina conditions are likely to develop this winter — federal forecasters give it a 55 to 65 percent chance.
La Nina is the cooler worldwide counterpart to El Nino. It’s a natural cycle caused when central Pacific Ocean temperatures drop.
Typically, La Nina pushes cold, wet air over the American Northwest and New England while sending warmer air over the Southwest and Mid-Atlantic states.
The Great Lakes can get caught between the two extremes. This time around, forecasters say Greater Cleveland’s chances lean toward being colder and snowier than average from December to February.
Keep in mind that these long-term predictions aren’t the same as looking at tomorrow’s forecast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which generates the data, deals in probabilities based on readings over huge areas of the globe that affect climate, which is different from day-to-day weather.
The cold predictions come after an extremely hot 2017 to date. August and September both ranked the third-warmest year on record globally, according to the National Weather Service.
Arctic and Antarctic sea ice coverage remains at near-record lows after 2016 broke the record for hottest year since records began in 1910.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
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