Every year we receive the long-range forecast from the Climate Prediction Center and if we can believe the forecast, it may be a warmer winter. Seriously? We'd take that!

Indeed, the information was released last week, according to the December-February temperature and precipitation outlook, there is at least a 50 percent chance North Dakota may enjoy above average temps in December, January, and February. Some may find that to be nice.

And the reason for the possible warmer weather?  You can thank El Niño. That is the warming over the Pacific Ocean and this weather event takes place every couple of years. When it happens, the upper Midwest receives a warmer winter. Maybe not good news for the snowmobilers, but for the rest of us, it's a good thing.

This past winter, even though we did not receive much snow, the temperatures were very cold, as a matter of fact, too cold! Let's not forget, this prediction is through February. You know here in North Dakota, we can have the effects of winter through the end of March.

One can only hope.

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