Midwest Winter Weather Forecast: Cold and Wet With a Chance of Warm and Dry

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St. Louis' forecast: cloudy with a chance of sexual innuendo
Rise and shine campers. Take a look outside: the leaves are changing, the air is crisp and it's shaping up to be another beautiful fall day (with a forecasted high of 70 degrees!).

But alas, it all means that winter is just around the corner and who knows what that holds.

Luckily for us, the good folks at the National Weather Service have been hard at work cranking out their predictions. Unfortunately for them, El Niño (Spanish for "The Niño") is back and wreaking havoc on conventional weatherman wisdom.

Indeed, a historically mild summer showed climate change is upon us and their job is no longer as simple as saying, "You live in Missouri? Bundle up, it's going to be cold."

Wait, never mind. Yes it is.

From their press release:
For Illinois and Missouri, the northwestern half of both states are in an area that has a slightly elevated chance of above normal temperatures. For precipitation, the southeastern one-third of both states have a slightly elevated chance of drier than normal precipitation.

"El Nino winters in Illinois and Missouri tend to be, for lack of a better word, rather bland, " says Jim Kramper, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis, MO. "We tend to not have a lot of big events. From what we have looked at there is a tendency to be a bit warmer and drier than normal, but it has gone both ways."
 
"While we may expect conditions to be a bit warmer and drier than normal, there will still be snow and ice events," added Kramper. "There is always a degree of uncertainty involved in seasonal predictions, so it is best to prepare for winter as usual."
To sum up: it could be wet, dry, hot, or cold. Way to hedge your bets there Jim.

If you care, here are their mapped El Niño "predictions":
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www.crh.noaa.gov



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