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Winter should be just about average -- but a little cooler

Northlanders can expect slightly colder temperatures but normal amounts of snowfall this winter, according to the News 6 long-range winter forecast. Released last Friday, the forecast paints a familiar picture for those acquainted with the Northl...

Northlanders can expect slightly colder temperatures but normal amounts of snowfall this winter, according to the News 6 long-range winter forecast. Released last Friday, the forecast paints a familiar picture for those acquainted with the Northland's longest season.
"It should be just about a normal winter," News 6 meteorologist Paul Heggen said.
Average temperatures for the region in December are expected to be around 20 degrees for highs, with lows around zero. January is usually about the same, Heggen said. However, this year, "the cold snaps will be a bit colder and the warm spells will be a little colder and won't last as long as normal," Heggen said.
Those cold temperatures made their way to the Northland this past weekend and were a rude awakening after the near-record warmth of last week. Normal temperatures for last week are approximately 35 degrees. Thursday's high was 62 degrees, thanks to a large high pressure area which had been keeping the cold air far to the north.
"All the cold air is circling the North Pole, biding its time," Heggen said. "The longer it stays, the colder and colder it gets."
When that cold air makes its way to the area, it will feel like winter is on the way. But winter's counterpart, the white stuff, is taking its time getting here. Heggen said some snow could be possible by Thanksgiving. After that, "I would be surprised if we didn't see some snow by the first week in December," he said.
Once it comes, the region should see normal amounts of it, which translates into about 80 inches. Because no major weather patterns, such as El Niño, are expected to wreak havoc on the area's weather system this year, normal conditions are expected, said Heggen, who consulted the long-range computer simulations from the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service for the forecast.
Leslee LeRoux is editorial coordinator for Murphy McGinnis newspapers.

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