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Published November 20, 2012, 06:05 PM

Despite early call for mild winter, new forecast calls for colder winter

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The long range weather forecast for the winter "was" calling for a mild temperatures and slightly less snow.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The long range weather forecast for the winter "was" calling for a mild temperatures and slightly less snow.

But now, a new forecast from the Climate Prediction center is a complete reversal, and is calling for a colder winter.

We're here at Holiday Lights parade in Moorhead where today's warm weather has brought out a good sized crowd and last year about this time a similar forecast of cold and snow had been issued.

A few golf courses took advantage of the record high on Thanksgiving so golfers could get in one last round before the weather was supposed to turn cold and snowy.

But in January, more than a few hearty souls were driving and putting their way around the Pebble Lake course in Fergus Falls.

And winter festivals had to contend with record warm temperatures.

Cold and snowy turned into a big bust.

Last year was part of back to back La Nina Winters, which is somewhat rare, so the probability of a busted long range forecast was high.

The new forecast calls for a 40% chance of below average temperatures and an equal chance of average precipitation. So what signals are causing this flip flop now?

Daryl Ritchison, Meteorologist: “I think the climate prediction center just was betting the farm sort of speak on an El Nino and most El Ninos here are above average so they went with that and the El Nino is just not forming so they switched.”

And like last year we are looking at potential record highs this week ahead of a cool down. But will this be the brutal winter we missed last year?

Ritchison: “A fairly large percentage of seasons tend to be fairly close to the average and by average that would probably means we'll see periods well above average, well below, see a lot of extremes this winter but that's pretty typical of our climate.”

Now with weak climate signals you may just be as well off flipping a coin.

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