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Knoxville – As temperatures in the Pacific Ocean return to normal, weather prediction in the United States gets a little more difficult.

In “El Nino” or “La Nina” years, winter weather patterns were more stable and predictable.

A climatologist with the University of Tennessee said forecasters are not certain how winter weather will be affected.

“There was one forecast that was calling for really cold temperatures in some parts of the U.S. this year,” said Dr. Joanne Logan, “but I just don-t know how they can make any kind of a forecast for unusual weather following an El Nino or La Nina pattern.”

Some have dubbed the calm weather in the Pacific “La Nada,” meaning “nothing.”

Logan said Tennessee weather is affected much less by Pacific Ocean conditions than by the nature of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau.

“Really, the influence in Tennessee is topographical is huge, in terms of how much snow and rain you get,” Logan said. “The Atlantic Ocean does not directly affect our weather that much, but the circulation patterns have major effects on weather throughout the Southeastern U.S.”

Logan said Tennessee farmers can expect a normal winter for precipitation.