What Does A La Nina Winter Mean For North Dakota?
We've been hearing it for awhile now, that we are setting up for a La Nina winter. First off, what is a La Nina? It's when the waters in the Central Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal. According to an article on USA Today, this will be driving force when it comes to weather for late fall and the winter months of January, February and March. The experts believe we have a 70% chance of going into a La Nina weather pattern. La Nina not only affects the United States, but weather around the globe. La Nina is the opposite of El Nino, when the Pacific Ocean is warmer than normal.
As far as temperatures go, North Dakota can expect a colder than normal winter according to the experts from the National Weather Service. Here's the Temperature map from the National Weather Service.
As far as precipitation goes, La Nina tends to bring North Dakota above normal precipitation. That would be good news as we are trying to break out of a vicious dry cycle that began in late fall of 2019. According to Wikipedia, Bismarck, North Dakota averages 49.3 inches of snow on an average winter. So, that gives you somewhat of an idea what old man winter could bring us this year. The National Weather Service in their long range prediction for this winter does indeed show us a better chance for above normal precipitation for North Dakota this winter. Here's that map.
Now, before we get to excited about a drought busting winter. Last winter we were also in a La Nina winter pattern. We all know how that turned out. The winter ended up warmer and much dryer than normal. Fingers crossed for a snowy winter. In fact, I'm going to make sure my snow blower is ready.
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