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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published February 26 2012

Weather Talk: Warm, dry winter not ‘black swan event’

Winter forecasts are always made referencing the three coldest months of the year – December through February. Although March is definitely a winter month in our climate, this week brings to a close what turned out to be an exceptionally warm and somewhat dry winter in the United States.

The winter weather was so opposite of what many had forecast that phrases like a “rogue winter” or a “black swan event” have been used to describe the season. Those terms would suggest that this winter has been out of the norm or unique. Frequent readers of this column will likely not be surprised when I say I am not fond of such comments.

We have had similar winters in the past and likely will in the future. Just because something is unexpected or extreme doesn’t mean there is anything wrong. Each season or weather event should be a learning tool, as there is still much about our atmosphere that we do not understand.


Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com, or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.