According to NOAA's 2020-2021 Winter Outlook for the United States, Minnesotans should probably keep the shovel and snow blower handy.

Over the last few days, most of us have seen our first snowflakes of the year, but from the sound of things -- they certainly won't be the last.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent agency of the National Weather Service says that most of Minnesota can expect near normal temperatures this winter, and above normal precipitation -- which of course here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes usually means snow.

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Not a big fan of above normal snowfall? Blame La Nina. The Pacific Ocean water temperatures are the driving force behind this winter's weather expectations.

NOAA’s seasonal outlooks provide the likelihood that temperatures and total precipitation amounts will be above-, near- or below-average. The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations; snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

The Old Farmer's Almanac and the Farmer's Almanac also both call for above normal snowfall for Minnesota this winter.

Winter gets pretty long in Minnesota, especially if we don't find ways to get out and embrace it. Skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snow shoeing, skating, and just gold old walking are all great ways to get out and take it all in.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

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