Snow conditions in the Souris-Mouse River system that begins and ends in Canada -- and of course runs through Minot -- are different than a year ago - there's more snow in the region.
But how does it compare to two years ago...the winter before the worst recorded flooding the region has ever seen?
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Bismarck are watching that, and as Perry Olson shows us...this season seems to be shaping up as normal.
2013 is looking to be your average winter for the region -- good news for valley dwellers who may still start to wonder a bit as they pass by the Mouse River less than two years after it surged from its banks.
(Al Schlag - National Weather Service) "Right now there is nothing really alarming. We are probably normal to slightly above normal for a good portion of the basin."
Al Schlag with the National Weather Service is talking about snowpack in Canada. And here is the map he's looking at...darker blue indicates more snow.
(Al Schlag - National Weather Service) "My counterparts in Canada have said they have roughly 55mm or a little over 2 inches of water equivalent in the Souris River Basin. Not alarming. What it is probably normal to slightly above normal for this time of year."
The map two years ago at this time looked similar -- this is it right here, from 2011 -- but it is thought this year and two years ago are actually much different when it comes to snowpack. He's trusting what he is hearing...not data being collected from planes flying over the region - information used to create what are called NORSK images.
(Al Schlag - National Weather Service) "Right now the NORSK images suggest 4 to 6 inches of water equivalent in the Souris River Basin at the most in Canada...we believe that is widely in error."
Flights are in the air this week to try and get a more accurate read after this current storm moves through. The perfect scenario the rest of the season is simple...no pattern of extreme storms that dump feet of snow...though the ground in the region can handle more this time around...
(Al Schlag - National Weather Service) "Last fall was fairly dry and our soils can accept a good share of that moisture so long as it melts normally or relatively slow."
All bets are off with a fast melt or a heavy rain...or both. Perry Olson, KX News.
So what is the long range outlook?
Schlag says temps through March should be a bit below normal...and snowfall remains a bit of a mystery.
He says they aren't really sure what to expect, above or below average.