We have been keeping track of the sea surface temperatures in the equatorial pacific region. So far it looks like we are going to be seeing below-average temperatures in that region. This would set us up for a La Niña year.
In a La Niña year, we tend to see the polar jet dipping further south with more zonal flow. There are usually colder temperatures for North Dakota and Montana but here in Minnesota, we tend to see slightly warmer than average temperatures.
Last year we also had a La Niña winter. So, what I did was I looked back at years where we had two La Niña’s back to back. The first year in those La Niña’s we ended up seeing slightly above average snowfall. The following La Niña winter we ended up seeing significantly below average snowfall.
Last winter we ended up with around 76 inches of snowfall in Duluth. So with that taken into account, my forecast is for between 50 and 60 inches of snow in Duluth with warmer than average temperatures.
There are many different factors that can affect our winters. I found this pattern and if the correlation I found is correct then we should be seeing a pretty mild winter ahead.