November 20, 2019

Mild winter could be in store for western N.D.

By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer

As winter continues creeping in for western North Dakota, the forecast for this coming winter season may not be as bad of a winter as some are saying. But colder temperatures and more snow than normal may be coming between now and the first of the year.
According to the National Weather Service in Bismarck, the state has an equal chance to see above average, below average, or normal temperatures for the 2019-20 winter season.
Historically, El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions, such as the one currently in place, lead to below average temperatures in winter, says Hamilton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Bismarck. And he says that the current outlook is for below average temperatures across North Dakota in January, February and March.
“Last year, we were in what we call a weak La Nina,” says Hamilton.
The La Nina and El Nino are processes that drive the climate, especially over the winter months in the northern plains, Hamilton says.
“This year we’re in a neutral phase, which means we’re not really in a La Nina or El Nino,” Hamilton says.

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