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La Niña Could Mean Another Cool, Wet Winter for North Dakota

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On Thursday, (Oct. 19), the NOAA released its winter outlook for what they expect weather to be like across the country.

According to NOAA, a La Niña event is 55-65% likely to occur. When a La Niña event occurs, it means that temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are cooler and that brings cooler, wetter weather to the Northern part of the United States.

“If La Nina conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in a news release.

Two graphics that the NOAA released give you an idea of what North Dakota’s winter could look like in 2017-2018.


It’s not fun to look at. However, the NOAA also states that, “Despite the outlook favoring above-average precipitation this winter, drought is likely to persist in parts of the northern Plains, although improvement is anticipated farther West.”

Additionally, the NOAA says, “Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance because they depend upon the strength and track of winter storms.”

So we don’t know for sure what could happen. But if you were hoping we’d have a fairer winter than last winter, it’s possible that, that will not be the case.

Enjoy the high temperatures this late into October. Soon enough, weather honeymoon phase will all be over.


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