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Northwest dries up, South takes a pounding in new winter forecast

October 03, 2012|By Amy Hubbard
  • A skier at Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake slides over machine-made snow in December. A new winter forecast is predicting near-normal snowfall for Southern California.
A skier at Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake slides over machine-made snow in December.… (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles…)

As Southern California pulls out the jingle bells this winter, other parts of the country may not be celebrating. The Northwest and parts of the Midwest could be in a dire situation again when it comes to the lack of winter precipitation even as severe storms pummel the Gulf Coast and South, according to an annual forecast.

Accuweather released its annual winter outlook Wednesday, and for some parts of the U.S. it's not pretty.

The Gulf Coast and South will be facing the threat of severe storms early in the winter season as cool air from the north tangles with warmer air from the south, according to forecasters at Accuweather.  Parts of the Midwest, however, may be as dry and mild as the region was last winter, with major winter storms keeping to the south.  Snow cover will be patchy, Accuweather meteorologists say, with milder temperatures than normal.

The news on precipitation isn't sunny, either, for the Northwest, with "big concerns" when it comes to drought, Accuweather forecaster Paul Pastelok says.

National Weather Service forecasts through February back up this outlook, with below-normal precipitation expected in the Northwestern U.S. through February. A Climate Prediction Center forecast released Sept. 20  shows drought increasing in the Northwest over the next several months, with dry conditions persisting or intensifying in much of the Midwest and Southwest.

Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation could lash southern Texas and Florida and other portions of the Gulf Coast and Southeast.  Accuweather predicts winter could bring tornadoes, high winds and flash flooding to those parts of the U.S.

Southern California this winter could be a pocket of winter normalcy.  After the last cold season brought little snow, the region's ski resorts may be rejoicing with this latest report.  Near-normal rain and snowfall are expected this time around.

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