El Nino will make Gulf Coast winter slightly colder, wetter

Most of the country is expected to see a milder winter than average, but it's predicted the Gulf Coast will see slightly colder, wetter weather.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its predictions Wednesday for the coming winter season, when the strength of El Niño will peak in the northern hemisphere.

"A strong El Niño is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter," Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in a release.

El Niño conditions mean the Pacific Ocean waters are warmer than normal, which affects weather across the globe.

Other factors involved

But it isn't the only factor affecting winter weather.

"While temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are favored, El Niño is not the only player," he said. "Cold-air outbreaks and snow storms will likely occur at times this winter.

"However, the frequency, number and intensity of these events cannot be predicted on a seasonal timescale."

The outlook predicts an above-median precipitation across the Eastern seaboard and southern portion of the country.

But below-average temperatures are expected only in the Southeast, although NOAA said in a release chances for lower temperatures are slightly less likely than earlier predicted.