Long range forecasters weigh in on what to expect this fall & winter

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) –  As students prepare to head back to the classroom, meteorologists are also looking ahead to a new season. Fall officially kicks off on September 22, 2016 and several weather groups are putting out their predictions for the fall. ECU professor Scott Curtis has been tracking the changes.

“For the East Coast, you’ve got two factors that I’ve seen mostly and that’s warmer temperatures for the fall and an increase in the likelihood of tropical systems coming through,” said Scott Curtis, who is an atmospheric science professor at ECU.

Both will likely be driven by a developing La Niña. The cooling of the ocean waters in the central and eastern Pacific can shift weather patterns across the globe. For the East, that could mean a dry but warm fall season. But we could see some other effects heading into the fall.

“There’s a little bit less wind shear in the Atlantic and there’s less steering currents, the trade winds have slowed down and the West African monsoon has gotten more vigorous” added Curtis.

All of this is expected to contribute to an above-average Atlantic hurricane season.

Looking even further ahead, many long-range forecasts predict warm and dry weather will stretch through the winter. This should lessen our chances of seeing bitter cold and snow this winter.

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