This year is still on track to be one of the hottest years on record around the globe.

This winter is likely to be warmer and drier than average for most of the continental United States, in line with the conditions of a typical La Niña year. This information is according to the most recent NOAA seasonal forecast released on 15 October.

Like the past 2 years, more than two thirds of the continental United States, northern and western Alaska, and Hawaii will likely experience hotter than average temperatures through January 2021. Southern Alaska and states along the northern U.S. border may see colder than average temperatures, and no confident temperature forecast can be made for the remaining regions.

Data through September indicate that “there is about 65% chance of the global temperature to rank as the warmest on record, with about a 35% chance of it being second warmest,” Ahira Sánchez-Lugo, a climatologist from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, told reporters during a 15 October teleconference. “La Niña tends to help cool a little bit the global temperatures…so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But for right now, it is a very tight race.”

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