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October 19, 2012 10:16 PM

NOAA's First Winter Outlook Released

Despite the rain many have picked up this week, it could be another slow winter. The Climate Prediction's Center's first outlook places KELOLAND in slightly warmer and slightly drier regions. 

The El Nino pattern we've touched on many times has been sluggish to develop. That means parts of the Pacific Ocean aren't warming very fast. Either way, the wind patterns influenced by El Nino would keep us on the drier side early in the winter. 

Since 1950, we've had 21 winters with this pattern. Below normal snow totals occurred during eleven of these years, while nine years produced above normal snow.   

The driest area looks to be Minnesota at this time. 

This outlooks runs through January and this is where our official prediction meshes well. We think much of the snowfall accumulation and moisture will come after the New Year.

The winter chill might be kept at bay for a while longer. The warmest zones look to be the central Rockies.

The same thing happened last year. KELOLAND is on the outer edge of the warm band. Many factors will determine how winter will feel, especially by the intensity of Arctic winds. 

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