The Climate Prediction Center's outlook seems to at least indirectly contradict the one released by the 2019 Farmers' Almanac, an annual Lewiston-based publication which uses a mathematical and astronomical formula created in 1818 to come up with long-range forecasts.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a milder winter across much of the United States. It is expected to be weaker than the El Nino that developed during the 2015/2016 winter.
"We expect El Nino to be in place in late fall to early winter", said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
But North and SC, along with much of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic, the Tennessee Valley and Ohio Valley, "all have equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures", NOAA said. However, Halper said, it's not expected to be quite as strong as the El Nino that helped lead to the record warm 2015-2016 winter season.
El Nino is an ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that is linked to periodic warming in sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.
ME has strong odds to be warmer than usual this winter.
On its temperature forecast map, the Carolinas and much of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic are all colored white, while the rest of the country is cast in reds and oranges, since those areas are expected to be warmer.
Kentucky has equal chances for both above and below average temperatures according to NOAA's outlook.
Precipitation is expected to be above normal across the southern tier of the United States, extending up into the Mid-Atlantic.
Drought conditions are most likely across the Southwest, Southern California, the central Great Basin, central Rockies, Northern Plains, and parts of the interior Pacific Northwest. The chances are highest in southeastern Georgia and much of northern and central Florida.
The real teeth-chattering arrives mid-February especially in the following zones: "Northeast/New England, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Midwest, and Southeast (yes, even the Southeast will be in the chill zone!)".
-This outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations.
"Even on a warming planet", he said, "it doesn't mean winter goes away and it's never cold again". Snow forecasts are generally not easily predicated more than a week in advance.