For most of the Northern Plains, November 2016 will go into the books as one of the warmest Novembers on record. But with the changing of the calendar to December, and with that, the changing of the seasons to winter, snow and very cold air has filtered into the region. And trends show this could be the pattern for awhile.
The current 6-10 day outlook from NOAA, which encompasses the dates of December 13-17, show the entire state of North Dakota as having a 90% probability of having below average temperatures. In the outlook, most of the state of Minnesota has the probability of being 80% below average.
Normal temperatures in Fargo for this time of year show low temperatures typically 5-7 degrees with high temperatures 22-23 degrees. An 80-90% probability of below normal temperatures usually would bring temperatures much colder. The current forecast shows during this timeframe, high temperatures in the lower single digits with lows -10 to -15 will be common.
The same outlook also shows the region in a 40% probability of having above normal precipitation for the same timeframe. This means that we could be in a slightly active weather pattern with a few systems bringing a good amount of snow to the region.
Temperatures should begin to moderate as we approach the third and fourth weeks of December. The 8-14 day outlooks show our area still well below normal, but the core of the coldest air will be moving off to the east by then. Longer-range outlooks do show that to finish the month, we should see average to slightly above average temperatures.