WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published November 18, 2009, 10:13 PM

El Nino Could Bring Mild Winter

Even when these nice days are gone, we could still be in for a warmer winter here in Grand Forks.

By: Christine Boggy, WDAZ

Even when these nice days are gone, we could still be in for a warmer winter here in Grand Forks.

The National weather service says that this is an El Nino winter and that usually brings us warmer than average temperatures all winter long.

It's not often that Grand Forks sees a mild winter but it looks as if this season might be a little less extreme.

Boggy: A Grand Forks winter usually means extremely cold temperatures with plenty of snow on the ground, however this year some of that may be avoided.

Kellenbenz: "Potentially looking at temperatures two to four degrees above normal through the winter season and snow fall a little bit below normal."

Boggy:This change can be attributed to El Nino...a warming of the Pacific waters off the coast of Mexico. That weather phenomenon usually displaces the Jet stream, keeping cooler weather up north while sending the main storm track to the southern part of the U.S. While that could be beneficial for us, it in no way means there will not be some cold days.

Kellenbenz: "Normal in these parts does get pretty cold so it doesn't mean we're not going to have cold weather and big storms."

Boggy: And warmer weather now may not be good for us come spring.

Kellenbenz: "Sometimes in El Nino winters though as it transitions into the spring season, we could get cold periods to develop in February and March."

Boggy: As far as what this means for spring flooding, it is still too early to tell. At this point the ground is still pretty moist but many other things need to be considered before a prediction can be made.

Kellenbenz: "A lot of factors still will go into how the spring flood will play out next year."

Kallenbenz says our lack of snow is allowing the ground to dry up more before a hard freeze, which can only help in reducing the risk of spring flooding.