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Daryl Ritchison, Published November 18 2012

Weather Talk: El Nino hasn’t yet formed; winter predictions revised

The Climate Prediction Center released an updated winter forecast Thursday. Most of the year they were forecasting a higher-than- normal probability of a warmer-than-average winter, but with their latest forecast they are now predicting a higher-than-normal probability of a colder-than-average winter.

Why the change? I cannot say for sure, but it is probably because the El Nino the CPC thought was going to form has not yet formed, and there are significant doubts one will form in the upcoming months. An El Nino, the warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean, often brings warmer-than-average winter temperatures to this area, although, the last El Nino in 2009-10 did not.

Seasonal weather patterns tend to be dominated by a number of factors, and most of those influences are very difficult or impossible to forecast more than a couple of weeks in advance.

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

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