DETROIT (WWJ) – On the final day of summer, forecasters at the National Weather Service are already taking a peek ahead at what’s in store for metro Detroit this winter — and it’s looking good.

Meteorologists say that thanks to an El Niño currently at work in the South Pacific, statistically speaking, Southeast Michiganders can expect a milder fall and winter in the form of slightly higher temperatures and less precipitation.

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“I would be very surprised if we weren’t warmer than normal this winter,” said Joseph Clark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in White Lake.

“A strong El Niño like this is actually kind of a blessing when it comes to long-term forecasting,” Clark told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Jon Hewett. It certainly doesn’t mean that it’s easy, but it gives us something to work with. And a lot of years we don’t have something this strong to point us in the right direction.”

But, before we get too excited, Clark warns:

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“We will still have winter; it will still snow. But El Niños, strong  El Niños, do provide us with some of our more mild winters  — especially on the front end. So, November, December and then January.”

Autumn officially arrives Wednesday at 4:21 a.m.

For the latest from the roads, stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 during Traffic and Weather on the 8s, 24-hours a day. Check live, local radar and the extended forecast HERE.

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