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WeatherTalk: Setting up for a third straight La Niña

La Niña is going strong after two years and appears poised to re-strengthen for a third consecutive winter.

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FARGO — Last winter was very cold with lots of blizzards. The winter before was mostly quite mild. One thing the past two winters had in common was La Niña. This global weather anomaly caused by a strengthening of the Pacific Trade Winds and a shift in location of the main belt of thunderstorms in the tropical Pacific, usually happens every few years during the winter and spring, but the present La Niña is going strong after two years and appears poised to re-strengthen for a third consecutive winter.

Because these large-scale weather patterns are only one of many factors that can impact our weather locally, there is no single, set weather we can expect from La Niña; but a northwest to southeast storm track over the middle of the North American continent is a typical result. North of this track will more likely be cold and snowy, south of the track will more likely be mild and dry.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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