MINNEAPOLIS -- There are signs of our mild winter everywhere: morning walkers near Lake Calhoun had partially bare legs, overnight temperatures have been in the 20's and even the windchill has had less of a chill.
"It's pretty easy to say that the arctic outbreaks are going to be less significant than in a normal year, just because we don't have as much widespread, deep snowpack as in a normal year," said KARE 11 Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.
Our snow depth is far less than last January, and our temperatures are warmer, averaging seven degrees above normal this month. Since the middle two weeks of January are statistically the coldest of the year, there's a good chance we might never see an extended hard freeze this season.
"The sun is getting so much stronger now that it makes a big difference," Sundgaard said.
But not just for people. Many of us like warm weather and so do many pests. That's why it's possible we'll see more mice and insects this spring, though not as many as you might think.
"Maybe not as many die," said Jeff Hahn, a University of Minnesota Extension entomologist. "Conversely, that doesn't necessarily mean we're going to be hip deep in them come spring."
That's because things like snow cover, ground freezing and precipitation all affect bugs and rodents, and in different ways. So even with a warm winter, spring and summer weather will also play a part.
"Even if we do see something in higher numbers, is it just the winter weather?"said Hahn. "Or could it be other things that impact it?"
"Anything can happen," said Sundgaard.
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