Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Odds favor mild winter for region

A developing el Niño expected to bring warmer temperatures

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 10/31/18

REGIONAL— It appears that the cool and wet conditions this fall may not carry through into the upcoming winter season. That’s according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction …

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Odds favor mild winter for region

A developing el Niño expected to bring warmer temperatures

Posted

REGIONAL— It appears that the cool and wet conditions this fall may not carry through into the upcoming winter season. That’s according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, which issued its latest outlook on the 2018-19 winter season late last week. In fact, the weather service is now predicting a greater likelihood of a warmer-than-average winter, with less certainty about precipitation.

A developing el Niño pattern in the Pacific Ocean is likely to affect weather over most of North America, including northern Minnesota. Forecasters use the term “el Niño” to describe the warm phase of an oscillating Pacific Ocean current. During el Niños, much of the western and far northern parts of the United States experience warmer-than-average conditions. Precipitation tends to be more variable.

Forecasters were quick to point out that even a milder-than-average winter in northern Minnesota doesn’t eliminate cold weather and snow, but it could mean those outbreaks will be less frequent or not as severe as is typical for the region. The average low temperature in January in the region runs from 6-12 degrees below zero with typical highs in the mid-teens. Snowfall could well be close to normal. In a typical winter, most of northern St. Louis and Lake counties receive about 65-70 inches of snow.

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