How Long Will Latest Cold Snap Last?

BISMARCK – As the temperatures continue to remain below zero, the weather has many people begging for the end or just a break.

So is an island of warmth on the way in this sea of cold we’re stuck in?

Remember last Friday when the temperature in Bismarck shot all the way up to 42 degrees…remember how warm and pleasant it felt…well hopefully you do because we won’t be seeing temperatures like that any time soon.

“This cold snap, and it depends on what your definition of cold is, I think will be worse than the cold snap we had in January.” Said John Paul Martin, the Warning Coordinator Meteorologist with NWS Bismarck

So why has it been so cold…you can blame El Nino for that.

What we thought was El Nino developing, which HAS NOT fully developed, we felt like the cold snaps would be very short-lived, so this was not expected that it would be to this length of time, so many days below zero that type of thing”. Said Martin

So how does this recent cold stack up against the history books…we’ll it’s not even close…

“If your definition of cold is overnight low temperatures below zero, in a row, consecutive days, the record in Bismarck is 48…this past cold snap…in January, we had four, again we’re not quite measuring up to anywhere near record cold for the state,” Said Martin.

And with cold weather comes plenty of snow, thanks to that weekend snowstorm, the Bismarck area is now above normal for snowfall on the season as 32.3 inches of snow has fallen…but of that, 24.2 inches has fallen since December 1st….this time last winter, just under 15 inches of snow had fallen, so we’ve already doubled our total from last winter.

And that snow is a little different.

“Typically there’s not much water in the snow in North Dakota in the wintertime because it’s very dry, but it’s been not only dry but very VERY dry snow, you know most of it you can brush off or use a shovel, it’s not that heavy snow, it’s very light, very little water in the snow cover.”   Said Martin

So is any relief in sight? John tells KX News, don’t get your hopes up anytime soon.

“Unfortunately it looks like the cold snap that we’re in right now, is going to continue into at least the third week of February,” Said Martin

But after that, we may finally rid ourselves from the sea of cold we’re lost in.

“There is hope that towards the very end of February and into March we’re looking at above normal temperatures, where? In Alaska, so we’re thinking that by the time we get into that first week of March those above normal temperatures will move into the northern plains and we’ll end up normal to just above normal for that first to the second week of March.” Said Martin

So hang in there and bundle up.

If you’re looking for a silver lining to all this, at least there’s no major snowstorms or Blizzards on the horizon over the next week or two. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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