Forecast: What Happened To Winter? Just Wait

El Nino, move over. The rising star on the meteorological scene, according to climatology insiders, is the Arctic Oscillation, or AO. It could be the reason, scientists argue, that people have been lunching outdoors in New York City, driving with the top down in Boston and tanning by the lake in Chicago--in December.

The Arctic Oscillation--sometimes called the North Atlantic Oscillation or the northern hemisphere annular mode--involves atmospheric-pressure changes over the northernmost part of the globe, from about 55[degrees] latitude on up, according to Colorado State University's David Thompson and the University of Washington's John M. Wallace. When the AO is...

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