NOAA releases 2012 Winter Outlook calling for a warm winter in Arizona

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 2012 Winter Outlook for the United States Thursday and it was not an easy assessment to make.

"This is one of the most challenging outlooks we've produced in recent years because El Nino decided not to show up as expected," said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "In fact, it stalled out last month, leaving neutral conditions in place in the tropical Pacific."

There is still a small chance that El Nino could emerge, so an El Nino watch remains in place which brings even more uncertainty to the forecast.

Given the neutral conditions (neither El Nino or La Nina) present now, we have equal chances for above-normal or below-normal precipitation across Arizona in the months of November, December and January.

Temperatures, on the other hand, are looking above-normal on average across our state during those months.

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