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Washington — U.S. forecasters say chances are good that much of the nation will have a warmer than normal winter. But it likely won’t be as toasty as the previous two winters.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a warmer winter from California through the Midwest to Maine. Below-average temperatures are forecast for southern Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Tier states.

The report released Thursday predicts normal temperatures from Indiana to Idaho.

NOAA’s Mike Halpert says the southern U.S. is likely to be drier than normal, while the north from eastern Washington through the Great Lakes to upstate New York is likely to be wetter.

Halpert says the likely development of a La Nina weather event plays a role in the forecast.

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