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WeatherTalk: La Niña has made this a hard winter

A modest shift could easily leave our region with more air from the southwest and with much milder and drier weather.

Cartoon of John Wheeler with a speech bubble depicting weather events
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This has been a classic La Niña winter for our region so far. Stronger than average Trade Winds across the Pacific have shifted the main thunderstorm region which has shifted the main Polar Jet Stream into a pattern with a northwest flow over our region since Christmas. Brief wobbles in the flow have resulted in big swings in weather from Arctic cold when the wind is more northerly to milder air from the west or southwest. The transitions have been windy and sometimes snowy.

A modest shift could easily leave our region with more air from the southwest and with much milder and drier weather for a while, but a redevelopment of the cold pattern would be fairly likely. In short, the rest of this winter will not all be as cold as today but will likely continue to be colder than average. This could easily be one of those years in which winter effectively lasts into April, with the threat of late frosts well into May.

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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