Somewhere in the equatorial waters of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, where it turns out that the nature of this coming winter in the U.S. is likely being shaped right now. As we speak for a second year in a row, these waters are cooler than normal. That is what is called La Nina, which Tends to have a fairly profound impact on North America and weather patterns. Speaker1: Agriculture Department Meteorologist Brad Rippy and Brad will come back to you in a minute. First, let's go to John Gottschalk with the Climate Prediction Center. His group has already made its forecasts for this coming winter, and here they Speaker2: Are above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures for some areas of the northern tier of the U.S. and below average precipitation and above average temperatures across the South. Speaker1: That very basically is the forecast for the period December on through February. Now let's go back to the Agriculture Department's Brad Rippy. First, Brad, for areas that have been suffering drought over the last year or longer. What does this know? Forecast hold? There is promise for some additional drought relief in places like the Upper Midwest and the Northern Plains, where we have just started to recover from that historic summer drought. We also expect to see drought relief in the northwest eastward across the northern Rockies, and that should help out states like Washington and Oregon, Idaho and Montana that have been hit hard by drought for several months now. On the other side of this, though, a warmer, drier winter is not good news for folks in Southern California, where it's been dry for over two years now. Speaker2: That's an area that we could see drought further intensify, leading to more water supply issues. And moving east and south from there. Forecasters also looking for warmer than normal and drier than normal conditions into the already dry southern Great Plains. And so We could continue to see drought emerging, developing and perhaps even intensifying across the southern Great Plains. And possibly even up into Kansas and Nebraska. Now, for those in the southeast and up, the Atlantic coast look for generally warmer and drier than normal winter coming. But Brad Rippy says just because this forecast calls for that, the day to day weather can vary tremendously. We've got a good taste of that.