Fall may begin on Friday but cooler weather won’t be coming very soon and the winter may be warmer than usual, weather experts said Wednesday.
The autumn equinox will occur at 4:02 p.m. Friday but the forecast calls for continued hot days, at least for the next week, said meteorologist Al Moore with the National Weather Service office in Columbia, S.C.
The weather service’s Climate Prediction Center outlook for the week ahead calls for above-normal temperatures, which will continue the pattern the area has been in since Tropical Storm Irma passed through of “rather warm, late-summery weather,” he said.
“Overall, we’re not projected to receive any cooler Canadian air for a while, for another week or two, at least through the latter part of next week,” Moore said.
That warm trend could continue over the long term. The outlook over the next few months has a higher chance for above-normal temperatures, said Nyasha Dunkley, deputy state climatologist for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
“It looks like it could be a rather warm winter, just looking out pretty far,” she said. “These are always our best-guess forecasts.”
The possibility of the La Niña weather pattern could alter that outlook. There is increasing chance, between 55 and 60 percent, of the formation of La Niña in the Northern Hemisphere, said the Climate Prediction Center in a recent announcement. La Niña is triggered by cooling sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.
While La Niñcould affect the weather in the southeastern U.S. and change the long-range forecasts for the winter, it will depend on how strong the pattern becomes as to whether current predictions will change, Dunkley said. The potential effect should become more apparent in October, she said.
“They always have these connections to the Southeast, where we experience some of the effects of La Niña and El Niño, but it depends on the strength of it,” Dunkley said.
While it is early to try and get a peek at fall and winter, “We expect these fall questions, with Friday coming up,” she said.
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