Weather Forecast


Weather Talk: Light winter snow does not guarantee heavy snow next winter

This winter continues to be rather weak on snow.

Unless something changes, this will be the fifth consecutive winter with less than average snowfall in Fargo-Moorhead — a pattern that is bound to change, right? Well, yes, probably. But when? Does a five-year run of light snow winters indicate a likelihood of heavier snow the next winter?

Think about it in terms of raw probabilities. If a flipped quarter turns up "tails" five consecutive times, are the odds increased that "heads" will turn up next? Actually, no. The odds are still 50-50.

Likewise, there is nothing about a five-year run of light snow winters that guarantees or even increases the likelihood that the next winter will be snowy. Next winter might be very snowy. It also might be about average. Or it might be relatively snow-less again.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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