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HomeEditorialA different force of nature will try to dethrone El Nino this...

A different force of nature will try to dethrone El Nino this January

by Northern News Now meteorologist Dave Anderson

In the early 1990’s KBJR news director Dave Jensch decided all the station’s weather people should be degreed meteorologists. In the past, if we happened to get a real meteorologist like Jack McKenna, it was pure luck. John Jedda was the first purposely hired meteorologist in 1992.

John was a huge fan of long-range forecast­ing and he favored the Hovmoller Model that allegedly could look out a month. His first attempt at our station got the forecast right. Proud managers made a promo commercial bragging about how good we were. Of course, for the next two years, the Hovmoller Model never got it right again.

That’s why I don’t put much faith in fore­casts after seven days out. Case in point is last month’s forecast that thought we would be cooler than normal despite El Nino. Instead, December 2023 turned out to be the warmest in our region’s history thanks to El Nino. Our weather records go back to 1871.

Take it with a grain of salt, then, that the forecast for January sees a battle between the warmth of El Nino and the cold of the Polar Vortex. There are signs El Nino is already weakening and that the Polar Vortex is set to bust out of its boundaries and migrate south.

One of the popular almanacs thinks the cold will win the month ahead. It is reckoned that the temperature will be five degrees cold­er than normal. Snow will be normal and hit 10 inches. Hopefully, that will be enough for snow starved snow fans to have a little fun.

January 1 to 5 is expected to be sunny and cold. The 6th to 10th will be chilly with light snow. The 11th to 18th will have more light snow and near normal temperatures. The 19th to 23rd will be snowy and cold. The 24th to 31st should be very cold temperature-wise and filled with flurries precip-wise.

The monkey wrench in this forecast is the fact that El Nino may be weakening but will still be present at least through April. So, real winter weather will have to kick and scream and fight to kick into the Northland for the new year.

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