Associated Press files
October 19, 2012
Clouds flit across the west face of Mount Hood as seen near Boring, Ore., in February 2010. An El Niño-like winter could put a dent in typical snow packs by spring. Despite lingering uncertainty about the overall pattern, computer models are still consistently pointing toward lower-than-average precipitation, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Maryland.