Temperatures this winter will average near normal to slightly below normal on the season, according to a number of sources, including the long-range outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While this will be the average for the entire winter season, we will see wild temperature swings as we go through the winter season.
We could see very cold air blasts where temperatures could get as low as -30 for a week or so, and then spend the next couple of weeks with temperatures at or slightly above normal. This could happen a few times throughout the winter.
During the duration of the cold snaps, the amount of snow will be limited. This pattern will allow heavy snow to fall well to our south.
As for the amount of precipitation for the winter season, it could average to at or slightly above normal. Most of the snow (or ice) will fall when we are in our warm periods—or when transitioning from a warm to very cold period.
Taking it month-by-month: Signs point to precipitation to be above average in December, which could give us a majority of our snow, because of colder than normal air expected. Precipitation looks to be below average in January and near average in February. We could also get a good amount of snow (or ice with warming temps) in March and April, which both look to be above average in terms of precipitation
To put this in perspective, according to NOAA, average yearly snowfall for the Fargo area is 50.1”—which averages out to 9-11” per month. Our coldest average temperatures of the winter occur in January, when Fargo has an average high of 18 and an average low of 0.