The consequences of a warm winter

While the warmer temperatures during the winter months may feel nice, their long-term effects won't!

To say that the beginning of the 2018-2019 winter season has been warm is an understatement. Looking at the data, we've spent nearly most of our time experiencing above average high temperatures, and very little in the way of snowfall. Winter officially kicked off on December 21.

The first couple of weeks in January are typically the year's coldest, with the average high temperature hovering around 31 degrees before we see a gradual warming trend heading into the months of February, March, and April.

As an area of low pressure continues to move into parts of Minnesota today, strong southwest winds will usher in near record high temperatures for much of the area. Many locations will easily surpass 50 degrees by the afternoon with some 60s possible, especially south near Burlington.

Should this warmer pattern hold on for a long period of time, which is certainly possible, there are many consequences that we will likely face, both short term and long term.

Already many folks in the snow removal business are wishing for more snow. While we had an active end to November that featured our first blizzard in nearly four years, since then we haven't really picked up a whole lot of snow. Ski resorts are also significantly impacted.  The insect population will also benefit from warmer temperatures, allowing more insects that carry disease to survive. Suffer from season allergies? The spring could be brutal as fruit and other flowering trees bloom earlier increasing pollen levels.

Time will tell just how long this warmth will hold on. Above average temperatures are expected through at least the middle part of January before we may see some more substantial cold build in.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

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