By Mike Augustyniak

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The NOAA Climate Prediction Center put the U.S. under a La Niña Advisory Thursday, which could mean a wet — meaning snowy — and cold winter to Minnesota and Wisconsin.

WCCO meteorologist Mike Augustyniak says the forecast comes with a word of caution, because not all La Niñas are equal.

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“This La Niña is forecast to be moderate in strength, as opposed to strong, and that makes us a little less confident in how the long-range winter forecast will play out,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

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Back-to-back moderate La Niña years during the winters of 2016-17 and 2017-18 produced the sixth warmest winter on record in Minnesota, and a significantly colder-than-average winter in Minnesota, respectively.  Both winters did feature above-average precipitation, however.

La Niña is not the only weather pattern that contributes to how our winter plays out.

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To learn more about La Niña, and its counterpart El Niño, two opposite phases of a natural climate pattern across the tropical Pacific Ocean that swings back and forth every three to seven years, click here.

Mike Augustyniak