Elaine Thompson / AP
An ice storm that followed a snow storm coats this car in Seattle, Wash., last Thursday. The Northwest could see a much colder than normal February.
The northern half of the U.S. can expect a much colder second half of winter, while drought-hit Texas and some other parts of the South are likely to see above normal temperatures, a weather forecasting service predicted Tuesday.
"The last half of winter and early spring will likely be much different than the first half of winter," Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at Weather Services International, said in a statement. "For the February-April aggregate period, we think that below-normal temperatures will occur north of a Phoenix-Washington, D.C. line."
February should be a particularly cold month, especially for the Pacific Northwest, where parts of Washington state were buried in a foot or more of snow earlier this month.
For Texas, the forecast comes amid a record drought that also led to a record wildfire season last year.
Weather Services International, a division of The Weather Channel, attributed several factors to its outlook:
- An Arctic system that had blocked cold air from the north has now weakened.
- La Nina, the ocean cycle that influences weather, is weaker now but still a factor, especially since cold Arctic air is no longer being blocked. La Nina's winter impacts include colder northern temperatures and warmer southern ones.
- What's known as the North Atlantic Oscillation, a fluctuation of temperatures, is expected to shift in February and start sending cold air into the East.
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