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Justin Liles' Winter Forecast Prediction

Posted at: 11/20/2012 3:06 PM
Updated at: 11/20/2012 3:25 PM
By: Justin Liles

Mother nature threw us a big curve ball last winter with above normal temperatures and below-normal snowfall. The pattern is changing, and the 2012-2013 winter forecast prediction is here.

Last years winter left many people wondering what happened to a typical Northland winter.

The Northland averaged 79 inches of snow, and 2012 finished with only 44 inches of snow, 35 inches below average.

The annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon was canceled in January, and looking back, musher Billie Diver said was disappointed.

"I was really bummed out, this was the only race I planned for," Diver said.

Skiers and ski shops also had one of most frustrating years in recent memory.

Scott Neustel, owner of the Ski Hut said, "It just doesn't really put people in the mood to shop for ski equipment."

Last years weather pattern was influenced by the arctic oscillation. A pattern that prevented cold air from getting into southern Canada and the U.S. causing much of the country to be warm and dry.

This winter the arctic oscillation will allow more cold air into the Northland. This will give us a better shot at more snow and colder temperatures or a typical Northland winter.

An average Duluth winter gets 79 inches of snow. This year, the Eyewitness News Weather Center is forecasting 75-85". Areas north of the Twin Ports and along the international border may see more.

The signs of that changing pattern have been visible over the last few weeks as many storms have come across Montana, North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

Temperatures this winter look to be one to three degrees below average. Last year we were five to seven degrees above average, the fifth warmest winter on record. 

Since the area is looking at a normal winter, we're also faced at some typical cold snaps in late December, early January and early February.

And don't anticipate seeing a January thaw. That's something folks will likely have to wait for until February. We could see a 50 degree day near Valentine's Day.

Our first big snow fall will occur in mid-December. Mid-January and end of March will also see some heavy snow.

This is great news for outdoor lovers, and the he trails will finally see some snow.

"People connect with the outdoors and Duluth has many trails," Nuestel said.

Look for more cold, more snow and more fun.