For about four weeks now, the weather across North Dakota and Minnesota has been consistently cold and wet. Persistent, long-term weather patterns are always associated with anomalous jet stream patterns.

This term, "anomalous," is often used in meteorology to describe a pattern that is not what is typically expected, but not necessarily bizarre or freakish. The root cause of this particular anomaly is a persistent area of warm high pressure over Alaska and the Bering Sea, which has been accuentated by an even more anomalous (borderline bizarre) area of persistently warmer-than-average ocean water in this same area.

The big high is beginning to break down, which will allow our weather to dry out and moderate in temperature. However, some semblance of this pattern is likely to re-form during the winter.

Depending on the jet stream position, this could mean persistently mild weather or persistently cold weather depending on whether the jet stream comes to us from the west-northwest or more due north.