By Errol Castens
WASHINGTON – While much of the nation appears to be in line for a fairly typical winter, the season may shape up warmer than usual in the Mid-South.
The southern tier of states from Alabama to Arizona, including nearly all of Mississippi, constitutes a pocket where warmer-than-usual trends seem likely throughout the season.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration issued those predictions in its Winter Outlook on Thursday.
“We produce the Winter Outlook to give American communities the best possible scientific prediction of how the winter may shape up across the nation so people and business can prepare for winter impact,” said Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Climate models for parts of both the extreme Southeast and the Southwest indicate less than usual precipitation through February, but Mississippi’s outlook for rain and snow does not veer much from the norms.
“We don’t have El Niño or La Niña, so we’re likely to see more changeable weather than anything that persists,” Halpert said.
Looking forward to a somewhat milder winter may be scant comfort for people at the University of Mississippi-University of Missouri football game tonight in Oxford.
Zach Maye, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Memphis, predicted the coldest conditions of Ole Miss’ season for the game.
“The game will likely begin with temperatures between 35 and 40, falling a couple of degrees per hour during the game,” he said.
Add in north winds at up to 15 miles per hour, and the wind-chill index could reach the mid- or even low 20s.
Overnight lows for Northeast Mississippi tonight are forecast from 22 in Corinth and 25 in Tupelo to 28 in Starkville. Through at least late next week overnight temperatures are expected to remain in the 20s and 30s.