Winter forecast cold north, dry south, heavy snow

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government forecasters say this winter looks to be cold and wet across the northern tier of states, and the drought will worsen in the South, where conditions are expected to be warmer and drier than usual.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that like last winter, the Pacific Ocean cooling known as La Nina is affecting the weather.

Mike Halpert, who's deputy director of the agency's Climate Prediction Center, says snowfall is likely to top the usual amounts from the Northwest to the Great Lakes and the Ohio and Tennessee river valleys.

He says dry conditions could extend from Southern California east across drought-stricken Texas and Oklahoma and along the Gulf Coast into Florida and possibly north to Virginia.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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