AccuWeather.com Chief Long-Range Forecaster Joe Bastardi issued an updated 2007-08 Winter Season Forecast today reiterating that all signs point to 2007/2008 as one of the warmest winters on record.

The recent cold in the East and Great Lakes area is consistent with the Winter Forecast, which called for colder seasonable winter weather at the beginning and end of the winter with warmer temperatures dominating what is climatologically the coldest part of the season.

"There will be bouts of major winter events, which are typical even in the warmest winters. We may see some of our wildest winter weather during the next month and again in March or April," says Bastardi. But he says those interested in or concerned about energy usage and costs should be easy on demand. "Last winter, as we forecast, the warmth of January was followed by a sharp change to bitter cold weather. This winter the warmth will go on through February," he says.

The "warmer weather" will run from the Plains to the east coast, Bastardi notes.  "So, to most Americans this winter will be warmer than normal, warmer than last winter, and overall a consumer-friendly winter."

Bastardi is forecasting January to be the warmest month compared to "normal" from the Ohio Valley to the northeast.  He believes the combination of what may be a top-five La Niña event and a cycle of warming water temperatures in the Atlantic are key signals to the coming winter season. "I have almost never seen the computer models and analogs in such complete agreement," Bastardi notes.  "We are living in a time of climatic hardship with lots of unseasonable warmth, similar to the weather the U.S. experienced from the 1930s to 1950s. The winter of 1949/1950 may be the best analog to this winter -- cold and snowy in the Pacific Northwest but very warm from Texas to New England."

Joe Bastardi’s complete, extended winter forecast, with more specific details, daily written discussions, video postings and forecast maps, is available to Joe Bastardi’s Energy Pro and Private Client Services through AccuWeather.com.

Source: AccuWeather.com