Weather Forecast


Weather: Ready for 'brutal' cold and snow?

After summer weather for much of the last week, conditions are slowly returning to those more in line with the season.

Temperatures earlier this week reached 70 during the afternoon several times. The weekend will be much cooler, with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks predicting high temperatures around 50 and morning lows in the 30s. Ten-day forecasts call for highs in the upper 40s and lows around freezing.

Thanks to modern technology, short-term forecasts have become fairly accurate. Long-term forecasts have gotten better but still lag behind. On that note, private weather service is predicting that the upcoming winter in the north woods will be "brutally cold and snowy."

Blame (or credit, depending on your outlook) La Nina conditions reforming in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. This La Nina episode is expected to impact our weather by causing the jet stream to bulge farther north and bring in colder than average air from the Arctic regions of Canada.

The jet stream also acts as a weather rudder - steering the path of storms as they cross the North American continent. Under this scenario, storms would be steered across the upper Midwest and have plenty of cold air to work with to produce copious amounts of snow. Accuweather is predicting that Chicago will see especially bad weather - prompting them to comment "People in Chicago are going to want to move after this winter." Chicago may be tugging at quite a few sleeves next spring.

While some Illinoisans may decide that Chicago isn't their kind of town, we can anticipate that pretty much every winter in the north woods will be brutally cold and snowy. And it's not just winter that can feature cold conditions. On Oct. 17, 1952, the low temperature reached 2 degrees - the lowest October temperature ever recorded in Bemidji.

Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation director.

Email him at tsiemers@