Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Normal Is Not Normal

I'm always interested in hearing what the long-term forecast is for the season ahead, so I couldn't help looking at this map in a recent Star Tribune:

So Minnesota has an even chance of a warmer than an normal winter, which means an even chance of a cooler than normal one, too. So maybe about an average “Minnesota” winter, on net, right?

But no. Remember: this description doesn't mean we’re getting that normal winter that someone in the 1950s or ’60s would have experienced. No, “normal” is the average of the last 30 years only. So the higher temperatures we've had in the past couple of decades have already increased the average temperature.

That means we're probably in for a warmer than historically average winter... just not as much warmer as all the folks in those more southerly regions will be.

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