Published September 16, 2022

Here’s Our Winter Forecast 

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

Latest Prognostication from the Climate Prediction Center 

MINOT – Keep the snow shovel, rain gear, winter coats, and light jackets handy. Another unpredictable North Dakota winter is on the way. You never know what you are going to get. 

Sorting it all out is the task of the Climate Prediction Center. Sometimes they cite clear indicators to produce sound reasoning behind their long-range outlooks. This time though, North Dakota is not a willing participant. At least not according to the latest 3-month outlook issued by the CPC. 

An oddity for weather forecasters is the continued presence of La Nina, which rarely influences weather in back-to-back years. Yes, La Nina, that cooling of Pacific Ocean temperatures that generally leads to colder and snowier weather across the Northern Plains, remains in place. The CPC says La Nina has an 89% chance of influencing weather conditions in the Northern Hemisphere through December, before backing off a bit January through March. 

Meteorological gobbledygook? Yes. No. Maybe? 

What the CPC concludes with reasonable certainty is that above-normal temperatures are favored for the southern two-thirds of the United States through December. So, what about North Dakota? 

Well, our state is in an area the CPC rates as having an equal chance of below, near, or above-normal temperatures. Accurate, huh? 

Oh boy, another unpredictable North Dakota winter is on the way, good, bad, or otherwise. Guess that’s what we have learned to expect anyway. 

The CPC does give some indication of what may be in store, saying there is a trend toward a colder solution.....across parts of the Northern Plains.  

Well, duh? We’re talking about winter here. 

So, just how often will you need that snowblower or snow shovel in the months ahead? That's what we need to know, like it or not. Well, again, the CPC says there’s no clear indicator of what to expect. They do say a a dry pattern in the Southwest will shift northward to the Northern Rockies by late spring, with increased chances of dryness for parts of the Northern Plains next summer. 

There you have it. No question about it. A 100% chance we’ll have weather, North Dakota weather, in the coming months

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