Long Winter - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Long Winter

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Spring begins this week - although we might be a bit late in welcoming the new season.

The weekend brought another eight inches of snow to the Minot area - with larger amounts elsewhere in the region.

And if you're getting the feeling that winter is dragging on this year - you're right.

Jim Tarasenko at the North Central Research Extension Center has now measured 57 inches of snow this winter, nearly 50% more than the average for the entire winter.

And he says the majority of the snow has fallen since February First.

(Jim Tarasenko, NCREC) "For February and March, 30.9 inches, and the long term average for February and March is 12 inches so we're almost triple the average and we still have quite a few days left in March. And so far this month we're averaging about 10 degrees below average temperatures and the forecast for this week is for single digits, the whole week"

Tarasenko says the prolonged cold and high snowfall totals point to problems with spring melting because it will probably happen over a shorter-than-normal time frame.

That could lead to very wet fields for farmers and ranchers trying to get crops in this year.

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