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Warmer US Winter Predicted

U.S. weather forecasters are predicting higher than average temperatures across the nation in coming months, part of what they call a long-term warming trend.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that the drought-plagued Southeast will not only be hotter, but also drier than usual, because of the cyclical La Nina weather pattern.

The forecasters announced their findings at the Winter Fuels Outlook Conference in Washington, Tuesday.

They added that while temperatures will likely remain above the 30-year-norm in the upcoming U.S. winter season, they will probably be slightly lower than last year's unseasonably warm winter.

The Department of Energy said Tuesday Americans can expect to pay about 10 percent more in heating costs. High crude oil prices will contribute to the rise.