If weather forecaster are right, we could be in for a relatively mild winter in the Northern Plains.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the Bismarck office of the National Weather Service predicts a weak to moderate El Nino, a warming of Pacific Ocean water associated with climate changes in North America and elsewhere.

Specifically, the NWS says El Nino is expected to peak during December, January and February, then slowly weaken through spring. If it plays out it would likely mean a warming trend for the American Midwest, hence a milder winter in North Dakota.

As the Tribune article notes, "historically, 70 percent of similar weak to moderate El Nino's had below normal snowfall in that same three-month period."

It's always good though to take these matters with the proverbial grain of salt. As with the Farmer's Almanac, it's fun to speculate but it's probably something to (literally) bet the ranch on.

[Source: Bismarck Tribune]