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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published November 25 2013

Weather Talk: Our winter temps usually opposite of those in Alaska

During the winter months, temperatures in our region are usually opposite of those in Alaska. When it is colder than average in Alaska, it is usually warmer than average here. Likewise, when Alaska goes through a mild spell in winter, our weather is often quite frigid.

The connection is real and is related to upper-level wind patterns. During winter, when we are getting our coldest weather, it is usually in conjunction with a jet stream coming at us hard from the northwest. Such a setup usually displaces Alaskan air southeastward toward our region, while bringing up milder Pacific air to Alaska.

There is a connection with air over the North Pole as well. When the polar region has less-severe cold, it is usually because of typically frigid polar air having been displaced southward.

We often jokingly blame Canada for our coldest weather, but the actual source is farther north.

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/.