Favorable forecast to start the New Year

Above normal temps ahead

The weather forecast for the beginning of the New Year calls for warmer than usual temperatures today through the weekend. Not tropical, mind you, but much better than the alternative.

While the record high of 50 degrees for New Year’s Day in Minot is certainly not in jeopardy of begin broken today, neither is the record low of minus 31. Today’s forecast calls for a daytime high temperature in the upper 30s with an overnight low in the mid 20s. That compares to the long-term average for Jan. 1 of 21 degrees for a high and 4 degrees for a low.

The remainder of the week is looking like the temperatures will trend well above average too. Thursday’s high is expected to be in the low 30s, Friday mid-20s, Saturday about 30 and Sunday in the low 30s. Average high and low temps for the period are 21 and 3.

What the weather will be for the rest of January is a bit of guesswork. The Climate Prediction Center says the most of North Dakota can expect below normal temperatures Jan. 7-13 with an elevated chance of snowfall.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts “mild” temperatures for our region Jan. 6-17 with an increased chance of snow showers. The almanac says January will finish out in our area with “frigid” temperatures and more snow.

December snowfall in Minot was less than eight inches, tracking right along the long-term average of 7.6 inches. The region has escaped the big snowstorms that have struck elsewhere in the state this winter.

For example, Bismarck snowfall total so far this winter is 40.7 inches. That compares to an all-time average of 20.5 inches and an average for the entire winter of 51.2 inches. The latest snowstorm to sweep through the state, primarily in the southeast, dropped 26 inches of snow at Ellendale, 24 at LaMoure and 16 at Jamestown. Winds approaching 50 miles per hour created blizzard conditions, monstrous drifts and brought traffic to a standstill.

At least for now, no such storms are in the forecast for Minot or anywhere else in the state. There’s plenty of winter remaining, however, but so far, so good in the Minot area.

The CPC’s three-month weather outlook issued in late December favored colder than usual temperatures for all of North Dakota through March. The Old Farmer’s Almanac doesn’t warn of any blizzard-like events this month or next, but does expect February to be colder than usual.

The Almanac has a few other tidbits to share as well that might come in handy for certain New Year’s resolutions. Based on astrology the Almanac says the best days to quit smoking are Jan. 6 and 11, to begin a weight-loss program is Jan. 14 and 19 and to start projects – Jan. 25.


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