When Will Winter Actually Arrive?

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One year ago today, most of us were outside in the freezing cold trying to brush piles of snow off our cars to make it to work.
That is, if we weren’t totally snowed in at our houses.
Emily Medalen shows us how different things are this year – and what kind of winter we can expect.

I reached out to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service who said it’s common to see snow on the ground this time of year.
But we might be in the clear for quite a while.

One year ago today, this —
Looked like this.

“People were late to work, or couldn’t make it to work because of the road conditions,” says Todd Hamilton, Meteorologist.

The first of 3 big winter storms hit at the end of November.
But right now in North Dakota, if you look out your window, you’ll see quite the opposite of a winter wonderland.

“There isn’t really a normal day. You hardly ever end up at the ‘normal’ temperature,” says Hamilton.

Hamilton says the La Nina pattern is in full swing right now.
This means we can expect below-average temperatures in the winter months for the northeast.
This was in effect last year as well – but, last year there was 2 feet of snow on the ground on this day.
That’s not anywhere to be seen in our 10 day forecast now.

“Comparing the two years, they’re very similar up to this point. Of course, last year, that ended abruptly, right after Thanksgiving, and we went into a cold and wet period. Whether we get that this year, I don’t know,” says Hamilton.

Many who live here are enjoying the slow transition to winter. 

“Right now is really nice for me. I like it when it’s cool out, you can throw on a jacket or hoodie or something, it’s not too cold, so you’re not shivering, and you don’t have to slip on the ice,” says Erik Berland, Bismarck.
“If we can have one more nice day, that’s great. But, I do like the snow, and if we could get that without the cold… but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet,” saus Hamilton.
“Driving! Driving is fun right now because it’s not slippery and stuff,” says Nash Anderson, Bismarck. 

Hamilton says even though a cold front is coming our way next week – 
A blizzard is nowhere in sight.

“As of this time, no real big precipitation maker, so no big snow storms like we saw last year,” says Hamilton.

But as us North Dakotans know, that can change in a heartbeat.

Last year’s total snow accumulation was around 6 feet for much of the state – just a little above average.

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