Skip to main content

By gawd something more reliable than a farmer with an almanac has released a winter prediction. Behold, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is calling for the December-February period to be influenced by La Niña

In a classic La Niña pattern, Minnesota sits in a zone of equal chances for above-, near- and below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Areas to the east, including Wisconsin and Michigan, sit in the zone that commonly gets warmer than normal temps and more precipitation than usual during a La Niña winter.

IMAGE-winteroutlook_seasonal_temperature_2021_700-102121

Weather is sponsored by All Energy Solar: get a free installation quote now!

"The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations as snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance," NOAA explains. 

IMAGE-winteroutlook_seasonal_precipitation_2021_700-102121

This La Niña is expected to be moderate (they can be classified as weak, moderate or strong). There have been five previous moderate strength La Niña winters. Here's how much snow fell in the Twin Cities those winters. 

  • 1955-56: 45.2 inches
  • 1970-71: 54.7 inches
  • 1995-96: 55.5 inches
  • 2011-12: 22.3 inches
  • 2020-21: 48.7 inches

The Twin Cities averages about 54 inches of snow each year, so one of the five was out of the ordinary. 

Ironically, the La Niña winter of 1995-96 resulted in the snowiest winter in Duluth's history, with the Northland city racking up 135.4 inches (well above its average of 86 inches). 

"La Niña's effect on Minnesota weather is a bit murky," says meteorologist Sven Sundgaard. "One must keep in mind that numerous things impact seasonal weather patterns and La Niña is just one."

Winter is coming. It will snow. It will get cold. Nothing too crazy about that. 

Next Up

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.

deer

1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.

_DSC0318

Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

Related

snow

Sven Sundgaard: What La Nina means for Minnesota's 2020-21 winter

While El Nino is a slam dunk for warmer winters, La Nina is less predictable.

'Blob' in ocean could have big impact on Minnesota's winter

Remember the harsh cold during the winter of 2013-14?

snow, snowing

La Niña watch: What it could mean for Minnesota's winter

There were wind chill readings in northern Minnesota on Thursday morning.

snow

The Farmers' Almanac unveils 2020-21 winter forecast for Minnesota

There appear to be a lot of farmers who enjoy predicting weather and writing almanacs.