Winter got an early start in the Northland, with a late October snowstorm that broke a record in Duluth. Some asked if that was a sign of the winter to come. It looks like it might be. The US Climate Prediction Center updated their long range temperature forecasts for the country this week, and their data points to a colder and snowier than normal winter ahead. The outlook for December temperature-wise looks to be around normal, with above normal precipitation expected. Things get colder with the start of the new year.

Temperature predictions for January, February, and March (illustrated int he map below) show a high probability of being below average. The darker shade of blue over much of Minnesota and Wisconsin denotes an increased probability of colder than normal temperatures for the heart of the winter season. While spans of warmer weather are still a possibility, this paints an especially chilly picture of the months ahead. What about snow? Keep reading.

NOAA

If you're someone that enjoys all of what winter has to offer; both cold and snow, you're in luck. The precipitation outlook for January, February, and March looks for some above average snowfall for almost all of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The highest likelihood of above average snowfall is in Wisconsin and the Minnesota Arrowhead (illustrated by the darker shade of green), with an elevated chance of above average precipitation also persisting in far western Wisconsin and most of Minnesota.

NOAA

While there are never any guarantees in the world of long range forecasts, the statistical information NOAA has points to generally colder and snowier than normal for the rest of the winter season. Whether or not you're a fan, buckle in and get ready for what looks to be a true Upper Midwest winter.