Winter forecast crystal ball: Part II

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winter outlook

So how about that polar vortex? Done shivering and ready for a warm-up?

Despite the latest episode of the drama known as “Winter 2018,” which featured a Jan. 22 snow storm that hit much of the region, there is some relief on the way. For a few weeks, at least.

We are now in the midst of a weak La Nina system, according to forecasters with DTN, which provides OPPD and other energy companies with weather forecasts. And if past La Nina’s are an indicator, we will soon be seeing a flip in the conditions that were prevalent early on this winter. That means it is the western U.S.’s turn to experience cooler than normal temperatures, and our region is expected to have some warm relief.

For a while, anyways.

winter outlook
DTN Chief Science Officer Jeff Johnson

DTN Chief Science Officer Jeff Johnson said the northern plains and Midwest could be enjoying warmer than normal conditions until mid-February when the, you guessed it – polar vortex – returns. And when that happens, expect terms like “bomb cyclone” and “heavy snowfall” to return to heavy rotation on the nightly news forecasts.

The second half of winter, Johnson said, is “expected to become increasingly energetic with more active and frequent storm systems.”

When winter gets serious again next month, expect it to stick around into March, with our area getting higher than average precipitation in the form of heavier rainfall or snowfall, Johnson said.

But, Johnson said, the return of the polar vortex shouldn’t be quite as cold as the early to mid-January version. So with winter lingering, and the potential for several more snowfall events this winter, everyone best keep the snow blower gassed-up and hope against an encore for winter.

winter outlook
Infographic courtesy of DTN.
Jason Kuiper

About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He formerly worked as a staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.

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