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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published November 24 2012

Weather Talk: Change in winter forecast for region isn’t a big deal

A lot of attention was paid to the change in the winter forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. After forecasting a higher likelihood of a mild winter in their October outlook, the November outlook was changed to a higher likelihood of below normal temperatures.

But the switch was really not that big of a deal. Long-range forecasting is hard because of so many unknowns. The outlook is actually not an absolute forecast but a probabilistic forecast.

For our region, the original forecast gave 40 percent chance of above-normal temperatures, a 30 percent chance of near-normal temperatures and a 30 percent chance of below-normal temperatures.

The revised forecast gives us a 40 percent chance of below-normal temperatures, 30 percent chance of near-normal and 30 percent chance of above normal.

So relax! Winter is a long season, and there will no doubt be some cold weather. There usually is.

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/.