Winter outlook: Cold and snowy on Northern Plains

We have had one of the warmer Autumns on record. During the months of September, October, and November, it was typical to see temperatures reach 10 to at some times 30 degrees above normal. We also saw more moisture than average, because of a good amount of rain during the month of September and the second half of November.

The outlook for the next three months, called meteorological winter, calls for the above normal moisture to continue in some areas, but shows a cooler trend in terms of temperatures.

The Climate Prediction Center's winter outlook puts North-Central North Dakota in a 40% chance of having below normal temperatures. Everywhere else in the KVLY viewing area is in a 33% chance of having below normal temperatures this winter.

The Northern Valley has a 33% chance of having above normal precipitation with the Southern Valley close to average. With the cold air expected in our area over the next few months, this means we have a good chance of seeing a snowy winter, especially up north. The Fargo area typically sees 11.2" of snow in December and January and 7" in February. Grand Forks typically sees 10.6" of snow in December, 11.2" in January, and 6.5" in February.

Other highlights of the outlook across the country show well below normal precipitation in the southern third of the U.S., especially in Florida. The warmest air this winter is expected in the southern U.S. and New England. Climatologists expect the highest amount of moisture in the Great Lakes states, including the state of Michigan, which could pick up record amounts of snowfall. The state of Montana also looks to pick up a good amount of snowfall as we go through the winter.