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A milder-than-normal winter is predicted for the eastern and western extremes of the United States, while the country's midsection can expect colder than normal temperatures, according to the winter weather outlook issued November 28 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service (NWS). The outlook (Figure 1, top), which covers December, January, and February, also predicts that the Northwest, Midwest, and the lower Mississippi valley can expect greater than normal precipitation (Figure 2, top).

Independently, researchers with the Climate Research Group at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) issued their winter weather forecast on November 29. While the temperature outlook by Jerome Namias and Daniel Cayan (Figure 1, bottom) shows a similar—though not identical—pattern to the NWS prediction, the SIO researchers' precipitation prediction (Figure 2, bottom) is very different from the NWS one.