Warm and wet winter for Alaska predicted by federal agency

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A warmer and wetter winter than normal has been predicted for Alaska by federal weather forecasters.

News agencies reported the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration released the winter outlook following an unusually warm summer.

The agency says the above-normal temperature prediction is in large part due to a lack of sea ice, which is expected to result in warmer water that sustains higher land temperatures into the winter.

NOAA says Alaska’s winter will be wetter than normal because warmer air holds more moisture.

NOAA says that for much of Alaska the temperatures will still be below the freezing point, resulting in snowfall.

An agency official says short-term climate patterns like Arctic Oscillation will drive winter weather and could result in large swings in temperature and precipitation.