After one of the hottest summers on record, the upcoming winter could be just as interesting.
The U.S. is still in an El Niño year, and that could disrupt traditional winter weather patterns as much as it did the summer.
While nothing is certain, of course, the jet stream during an El Niño winter generally shifts south—and that results most frequently in wetter and cooler weather for the South, while northern states are drier and warmer.
The last El Niño winter was 2018–2019 and resulted in an ice storm that brought snow and ice as far east as Charleston, S.C. That was a mild El Niño. The one in 2023–2024 is expected to be stronger.
"The odds of at least a 'strong' El Niño…have increased to 71%," said the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.
A wetter winter could be good news for many areas of the South, which were pummeled by record highs this summer, as well as areas like Texas and Louisiana, which are in the midst of a drought. It could be frustrating, though, for ski resorts in the Rockies and areas of the Midwest, which are also experiencing drought conditions.
Typically, the impacts of a winter El Niño begin to be felt in the late fall and early winter and last through early spring.
The three-month winter forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts warmer temperatures across the northern half of the country, from upper California through New York. Southern temperatures, it predicts, will be about the same as usual, but wetter conditions are expected throughout the Southeast and parts of the eastern coast, including Washington, D.C., and parts of lower New England. With the higher temperatures, though, that’s more likely to mean a rain event than snow.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com