How ocean temperature can impact North Dakota’s winter


You can’t predict what the exact temperature will be on a certain day next month… or how much snow we could see on a particular day several weeks from now. But you can look at larger atmospheric circulations around the globe that can help forecast trends.

Some of the more common atmospheric circulations are El Nino and La Nina… but there are several that can’t be ignored. One, in particular, may play a role in how cold we get and how much snowfall we see. You may have never heard of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Or the PDO for short. This is a long-range pattern, sometimes 20-30 years long, that is related to the water temperature in the Pacific Ocean. Just like with a La Nina phase, it can have an impact on our weather here in North Dakota this winter.

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