NOAA: Thanks to El Nino, the US looks pretty wet this winter

EL NINO
FILE - In this Feb. 2, 1998 file photo, work crews attempt to repair a damaged pier caused by waves that reached 15 feet from the massive El Nino-driven storm in Ventura, Calif. Evidence is mounting that the El Nino ocean-warming phenomenon in the Pacific will spawn a rainy winter in California, potentially easing the state's punishing drought but also bringing the risk of chaotic storms like those that battered the region in the late 1990s. (AP Photo/Nick Ut,File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Forecasters say this winter El Nino will leave a big wet but not necessarily snowy footprint on much of the United States, including parched California.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration on Thursday issued its winter forecast, heavily influenced by one of the strongest El Ninos on record.

NOAA expects a cooler and wetter winter for the South. California is forecast to get more than the usual precipitation during the critical time its reservoirs usually fill, but there’s no guarantee. Only northern tier states, the Ohio Valley states and Alaska should be dry.

Forecasters see a milder, warmer winter north of the Mason-Dixon line and for all of California and Nevada. Texas and the Deep South are forecast to be cold.

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