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John Wheeler: Despite the general global warming, this could be another cold winter

The latest long-lead forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center calls for a colder than average winter.

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FARGO — The average temperature of the lower atmosphere around the world is about two to seven degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 50 years ago. The high Arctic has warmed 7-8 degrees while the tropics have warmed only very little. These are averages, and the regular variability of weather continues over these averages. It still gets very cold in the Arctic in Winter, and when Arctic air is directed our way in winter, it still gets very cold here.

The latest long-lead forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center calls for a 40-50% chance of a colder than average winter, with 25-30% chances the winter will average out either near or warmer than average. The forecast is based on present regional weather anomalies and the anticipated third consecutive La Nina pattern in the Pacific Ocean, all of which suggest we may be in for somewhat persistent flow of Arctic air into our region of the hemisphere starting some time in November or December and continuing through the spring.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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