November 11, 2009

National Weather Service predicting more of the same

National Weather Service predicting more of the same
By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR

If you think you’re enjoying the unseasonable temperatures lately that have been pushing toward record highs, get used to it.
At least that is what the National Weather Service is telling us. A warm Pacific weather pattern that has brought one of the warmest Novembers in recent memory, is expected to remain in place for the majority of the winter, according to Rich Kinney, a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. As a result, the long-term forecast is calling for above average temperatures through February.
But Kinney is cautioning readers that after all, we are approaching the winter solstice (Dec. 21) and really, the only thing that is certain this time of year is variation in temperatures. As far as averages go, however, Kinney said we can expect what many would consider a mild winter. He added that long-term indications are telling him that March and April may be much the same.
“In December, January and February, we will have better chances for above normal temperatures,” Kinney said. “It looks like that overall weather pattern will continue.”
Kinney said a Pacific winter weather phenomenon called El Nino is largely responsible for the mild November we’ve already had and the continuation of above average winter weather. El Nino, which that has been recorded since 1950, pushes warm Pacific air near the equator inland forcing the jet stream to stay in central Canada. That wams the central United States with the prevailing Pacific air.
In our case in 2009, according to Kinney, that warm Pacific air will continue to push across North Dakota after winds blow it into northern California and Oregon, over Utah, Idaho and Montana, into North Dakota, then on to parts of Manitoba and Ontario.
As an example, Kinney said the dominant weather protected North Dakota earlier this week when Kansas was hit with heavy snow. Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka all received 8 inches of snow on Monday with temperatures barely reaching the melting point. Some spots in western North Dakota saw 60 degrees on Monday. Dickinson was warmer than New Orleans on Monday.
 


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