The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a significant chance of a warm winter for Massachusetts this year.
According to NOAA predictions, rainfall is just as likely to be above average as it is below average.
This winter, we will be in La Niña conditions for the third year in a row, NOAA wrote in a press release Thursday.
La Niña occurs when the waters of the Pacific Ocean around the equator are colder than average. This causes warmer temperatures in the southwest, southeast, and along the Atlantic coast of the United States, including as far as New England.
According to NOAA forecasts, all of Massachusetts has a 33 to 40 percent chance of above-average temperatures this winter.
For snow and rain, NOAA predicts equal chances of below- or above-normal precipitation in Massachusetts.
NOAA made encouraging predictions after a summer of severe drought. It predicts drought conditions will end in northern Massachusetts, Cape Town and southern New Hampshire.
Northern Massachusetts and the Cape are currently experiencing the worst drought conditions in the state, according to the US Drought Monitor.
Most of Essex County is in severe drought, while most of Suffolk, Middlesex, Barnstable, Franklin and Hampshire counties are in moderate drought, and the upper half of Worcester County is in moderate drought.
Even so, drought conditions in Massachusetts are already much better than they were at the end of summer, after several weeks of heavy rainfall.
NOAA will release its updated forecast for this winter on November 17.
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