In my perfect world, our winters would be full of snow, free of wind, and temps would never drop below 30. I love getting outdoors in the winter and playing in the snow with my kids, but I hate the extreme cold and nasty wind chills that we experience in Minnesota.

Meteorologists with NOAA recently updated their winter outlook for Minnesota and said we'll likely experience a powerful El niño this winter which will definitely impact our temps and the amount of snow we receive.

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What is El Niño?

El Niño happens when the water in the Pacific Ocean gets warmer than usual which causes a shift in the Pacific jet stream. This changes weather patterns around the world and can lead to things like flooding, droughts, or unusually high or low temps in different regions.

El Niño happens every few years and can have a significant effect on our winter weather.

Winter car - woman remove snow from windshield with snow brush

NOAA says the phenomenon was first observed by South American fishermen in the 1600s. The full name they used was El Niño de Navidad because El Niño typically peaks around December.

The change in the jet stream leads to a dryer and warmer winter for some parts of the county and a wetter than normal winter for other regions.

 Powerful El Niño! What This Means For Minnesota This Winter


Good news for all of us who don't like brutal cold temps!

You won't be dropping a bunch of four-letter words each time you step outside this winter because El Niño generally means milder temps in Minnesota.

NOAA says our region should experience warmer than average temps this winter. In fact, the entire northern part of the country appears to be in for a mild winter.

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Minnesota could see snow as early as next week according to some recent forecast models, but El Niño is generally bad news if you like snowmobiling, sledding, building snowmen, snowshoeing, or skiing because it usually means we're going to have a drier winter with less than-average snow.

BRRRR: The 15 Coldest Cities in America

The list below is from Niche. They put together their list of the coldest cities in the county by looking at which ones had "the coldest average low temperatures during the winter months." Keep scrolling to see the 15 coldest cities in the United States.

Gallery Credit: Dunken

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