SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As meteorologist Scot Mundt told you during our Winter Special Monday evening, the Alaska connection will be a big factor behind our weather patterns this winter.
More specifically, it’s this large area of above-normal water in the northeastern Pacific that directly links to the push of cold into the northern United States.
It’s curious to note that this warm water may be enhanced by underwater volcanic activity in the Gulf of Alaska. No matter what the cause, the effect brings shots of very cold air into the lower 48. Just look at the history.
The winter of 2013-2014 was very cold. In fact, it was record-breaking cold just to our east in Wisconsin and Michigan in case you have forgotten. The warm water in the Gulf of Alaska was a big factor that winter and we certainly don’t want to underestimate its potential impact.
The effects of these Pacific temperature trends have been seriously studied going back to the winters of the 1970s. The key is to determine how they will change as the winter season progresses and which parts of the United States will receive the brunt of the cold.
We’ll continue to watch the developments in the weeks ahead.