The weather of the winter of 2016

     The past few months of fall and early winter have been nothing short of crazy, but who can complain with such mild temperatures and being able to wear shorts in December? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average U.S. temperature in autumn was 56.2°F, 3.3°F above average and the warmest on record. This might not sound like much, but the U.S. Climate Extremes Index rates this autumn at 50% above average and the 10th highest value on record. The northeast was relatively dry, and had its warmest and 16thdriest November on record.

     The El Niño this year is one of the strongest ever recorded. The U.S. winter predictions include above-average temperatures in the west and the northern half of the U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. Below-average temperatures are expected in the southeast and southern plains. Higher than average precipitation conditions are expected in the southern half of the U.S., and up the East Cost to southern New England.

     Maybe here in Pennsylvania, we will be wearing shorts sometime in January, February, and March as well. This is just a “slight” change from last year’s winter.