Warm winter a possibility

What many may consider a warm winter in North Dakota might still be miserable weather elsewhere, but there is some reason for optimism in the latest three-month weather outlook issued by the Climate Prediction Center.

The CPC says nearly all of the United States, with the exception of Florida where it matters little, has a greater than normal possibility of expected warmer than usual temperatures through November. A few degrees extra warmth, or a few extra warm days, is always a much better outlook than the alternative in North Dakota.

The chance of warmer than usual temperatures the next 90 days is a reflection of what is happening with sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. The CPC says there is a 60 percent chance of El Nino affecting fall weather in the northern hemisphere through late fall. Then, says the CPC, the chances of El Nino’s warming influence increases to 70 percent for the upcoming winter.

In fact, the CPC has continued their El Nino watch. That is a strong indicator that conditions are favorable for the formation of El Nino. In their latest long-range weather issuance the CPC says the majority of forecast models concur that El Nino will continue to form in the coming months although uncertainty remains as to how strong it will become. Nevertheless, any El Nino generally can be credited with creating warmer than usual temperatures across North Dakota during the winter months.