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Climate experts release forecast for Minnesota's upcoming winter

Fingers. Crossed.

It's the Climate Prediction Center's duty to make accurate long range forecasts, so we'll take them at their word when they say there's a decent chance Minnesotans get a warmer winter this year. 

Seriously? 

Yes, according to the December-February temperature and precipitation outlook the Climate Prediction Center released this week. According to the details, there's at least a 50 percent chance most of Minnesota experiences above average temps in December, January and February. 

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The reason there's optimism for a warmer winter in Minnesota is thanks to El Niño – the warming of the Pacific Ocean that happens every two to seven years. 

Here's a look at the trends typically associated with El Niño compared to La Niña, courtesy of NOAA. 

el nino

After this past winter we certainly deserve a warmer few months. Remember, it reached a high of 4 degrees in the Twin Cities last Dec. 25 and the "high" on New Year's Eve was negative 5. 

The average high temperature in the Twin Cities in December is 26 degrees, and just 22 in January and 28 in February. Anything above those averages would be excellent, unless you really do enjoy a good chill. 

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