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.

“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)

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.

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