GRAND FORKS (AP) -- A weather expert in Grand Forks says the upcoming winter might go down as one of the coldest in decades.

Meridian Environmental Technology President Leon Osborne tells Agweek that the possibility of an exceptionally cold winter is about 90 percent. He says it could be the coldest in the past 40 years.

Osborne says part of the reason for his forecast is a change in ocean currents that's melting more north polar ice than usual. He says that has created an above-average amount of open water, which in turn affects the jet stream.

Osborne says another reason for the strong likelihood of a cold winter is La Nina, a weather phenomenon involving the cooling of tropical Pacific water.

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Information from: Grand Forks Agweek, http://www.grandforks.com/mld/agweek/

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.