Remember that trace snowfall we saw in the Sioux Empire last Friday morning? Well, it could be a warning sign for a bumpy winter ahead for all of us.

According to Dakota News Now, our area is expected to see a colder than average winter, due to La Niña. What exactly is La Niña?

La Niña and El Niño are ocean surface waters affected by trade winds in the Pacific Ocean. Believe it or not, these affect the climate across North America in a big way, including right here in South Dakota. When the trade winds in the Pacific are strong, El Niño brings us warmer winters. If the trade winds are weak, La Niña will typically bring colder winters to our region.

La Niña often brings drought to the Southern U.S. and flooding to the Pacific Northwest. In our part of the midwest, La Niña is expected to bring us a colder, wetter winter than we see on average. These colder temps will make things difficult in an already dry environment, due to the small amount of rainfall we've seen in recent months.

The good news though? La Niña is not expected to bring us record-breaking cold temperatures, just colder than average. But, hey? We're in South Dakota, we're all used to that at this point.

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