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Wetter-than-average winter in outlook

Temperatures predicted to be near 30-year running average

POSTED: December 3, 2012 12:09 a.m.

There’s no need to drag out your heavy coat just yet.

The weather outlook for the next three months calls for temperatures to be near the 30-year running average and for precipitation to be above average.

After last year’s mild winter, though, those average temperatures are likely to feel colder.

“The current winter outlook looks like we’re probably going to see a wetter-than-average winter and average temperature wise,” said Alex Gibbs, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

“Hopefully, that would be good for our drought situation,” Gibbs said. “We definitely need that moisture.”

Whether any of that moisture falls as snow, sleet or freezing rain, though, hinges on temperatures.

Gibbs said research indicates a mild winter like last year’s is often followed by a harsher season the next year, but the number of variables makes it hard to forecast how much snow the area can expect.

“That’s all depending on the temperature,” he said, “but with the wetter-than-average outlook, there’s a better chance for frozen precipitation,” but it’s hard to predict what form it might take.

It’s unlikely to come this week, though, with temperatures in the forecast ranging from the mid-50s to high 60s.

There’s a 40 percent chance of showers Tuesday, and 20 percent chances of showers from Friday through Sunday.

Lows will trend downward over the week, starting in the low 50s and dropping to the low 40s by the weekend.

Still, Gibbs said colder weather is probably on the way.

“There’s cold air up North in Canada that’s going to start making its way South,” he said.

“The way we’ve been going from one extreme to the other, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of weeks we get our first punch of cold weather,” he said. “But we can’t forecast that far out.”


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