SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The winter season so far in the northern plains has been mild and less snowy compared to some years. But changes to the weather pattern and La Nina will deliver some important changes in February.
A quick look at the calendar reveals we are almost to February, the shortest month of the year, and a time when brutal winter weather can still show up in KELOLAND. The question is, will that happen this year?
First, it’s interesting to note how cold it was last night in northern Minnesota and parts of North Dakota. Temperatures into the 20s below zero made an appearance on the weather maps.
It’s also important to note the wide swath of 6-12″ of snowfall on Monday that just grazed far southern KELOLAND. It’s clear a variety of winter weather elements are surrounding us in these closing days of January.
On the big picture, the La Nina weather pattern near the equator continues to show a belt of colder than normal ocean waters in that part of the world. We also continue to see a belt of warmer than normal ocean temperatures off the coast of California, directly aiding the hefty rain and snow totals forecast there.
Much of the winter has been dominated by this phase of mild Pacific air masses coming into the United States. But we can’t ignore the massive amount of cold air build to the north. The idea of this breaking loose into the lower 48 is not a question of if, but where and when that happens in the new month.
The bottom line is, don’t let your guard down on winter. In fact, there’s a good argument that real winter has yet to begin.