What’s Causing this Unusual Early October Weather?

Local News

BISMARCK — With projections of possibly a foot or two of snow in parts of North Dakota, Meteorologists are calling this type of storm rather unusual for the month of October.

We spent some time looking over trends with KX News Meteorologist Amber Wheeler today. It turns out, if we end up with a foot of snow over the next couple of days, it will only be the second time on record in the Capital City. In Minot, it will be the third time.

Amber shares, “What I always tell folks is, ‘It’s also North Dakota, so to see something like this, I’m not surprised’. But we don’t typically see it. You know, I showed you the data. We’ll see a couple of inches on average if you take the 30-year data and average it out, you’ll see a couple of inches in October, and now parts of the state will see two feet.”

Maybe not in Bismarck or Minot, but Meteorologist Jeff Scheld with the National Weather Service says this does happen every few years in portions of the state.

Scheld explains, “We had a very large one that hit southwestern North Dakota and western South Dakota very hard, and that was in 2013.”

Amber says the cold and snowy weather just comes in waves.

She adds, “If I were to show you the data over the past 100 years, I don’t necessarily have a pattern to go by.”

But we are definitely below average for temperatures right now.

Amber explains, “Depending on the part of the state, for Minot, it’s like 58 degrees and for Bismarck, about 60. So we’re around 30 degrees below average.”

The blue and green trough in the temperature trend shows why we’re so cold right now. For the next couple of days, arctic air has a path right down into North Dakota.

Scheld compares our weather patterns to a person:

He shares, “Weather, like what’s going on with this storm, is like your mood for a day, where the broad climate is your personality.”

The good news is, this is likely not the beginning of the snow that sticks all winter. Amber expects 60-degree weather to return at some point this month.

She adds, “We’ll never sustain this snow, no matter how much we get.”

And you can see some of it already melted away this afternoon, making room for the next band of the storm.

However, that snowmelt is already starting to freeze over tonight, creating some really hazardous conditions.

Amber says to keep a close eye on the DOT’s road conditions map. Click here to see it now.

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

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