Whether you like it or not, winter is officially here. Forecasters at the National Weather Service have released their final winter predictions as a La Nina weather pattern sweeps across the country, disrupting temperatures nationwide.
Many Americans could get a balmier-than-usual winter, with mild temperatures across much of the South and the Northeast. But it may get chillier than folks are used to in a few areas, including the Pacific Northwest through the upper Midwest. The forecast is also suggesting big snow totals in some spots.
Take a look at how your region is expected to fare.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service are predicting “above normal” temperatures across the Southwest — in much of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana.
The warm temperatures could extend as far east as Florida.
The Northeast also has a good chance of higher-than-usual temperatures.
- Yana Paskova/Getty
That’s especially true in northern New York and the other states that border Canada in the Northeast (Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine).
Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island should see a fairly mild season as well, though forecasters warn that if temperatures dip even slightly lower, that could lead to heavy snows.
Predictions suggest above-average temperatures in Alaska, especially above the Arctic Circle.
- Paxson Woelber/Flickr
The region known as the North Slope is especially likely to see a warm winter – which could spell another year of bad news for Arctic sea ice.
In December the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that “the Arctic shows no sign of returning to the reliably frozen region it was decades ago.”
The upper Midwest could be in for a nippy few months.
- Julie Denesha / Stringer / Getty Images
North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota all have a better-than-average chance of a blisteringly cold season. Washington and Montana will probably also see temperatures dip lower than usual.
There could be lots of snow in the northern Rockies and around the Great Lakes.
Alaska could see higher-than-usual snow totals, too, especially in the western part of the state.
There’s also an increased chance of precipitation in Hawaii from December through March.
- Karen Desuyo/Flickr
But that won’t come in the form of snow, of course.
Not everyone’s going to get pounded with powder or rain. A chunk of the country from the eastern Gulf Coast to northern Florida is expected to be drier than usual this year.
- Reuters / Steve Nesius
In Georgia, southern South Carolina, and Florida, there’s a greater than 50% chance of “below normal” precipitation.
Because weather predictions are based on historical models, however, much of the country’s forecast remains up in the air.
- Brian Kersey / Stringer / Getty Images
Forecasters say places in northern California and Oregon eastward through the central plains and into Wisconsin and Michigan in the Midwest all have roughly equal chances of a cold or warm winter, as conflicting weather models are circulating.
Of course, these are only predictions.
“There’s probably still about a 25% chance that the winter ends up colder than normal, temperature-wise,” Meteorologist Stephen Baxter at the Climate Prediction Center told Business Insider. “And if that happens, it would certainly favor more snow.”