Winter will arrive soon enough
Our winter certainly hasn’t acted like it yet. Every day with no snow drifts or sub-zero temperatures is a bonus at this time of year.
There’s been numerous years when winter arrived in October, even early October, which effectively added several more weeks to the coldest season of the year. We’ve had years when freezing rain and snow came early and it resulted in roadways, especially rural gravel roads, being precariously icy until relief came from warming spring temperatures.
There’s been winters when city streets have become so choked with snow that they were reduced to little more than single lane traffic, winters that have stressed city, county and township snow removal efforts. Not so this year, at least not yet.
Our minutes of daylight is shrinking every day, so we know our favorable weather fortunes can’t last much longer. Or can they?
The latest Climate Prediction Center three-month weather outlook concludes we might get into late December before it begins to look and feel like winter. But not so for for 2021. The effects of La Nina are expected to be felt across the northern United States come January, North Dakota included. La Nina’s effect for us almost always means more snow and colder temperatures.
Of course, colder temperatures might not be too noticeable if it is only an average of a degree or two. As for snowfall, amounts can vary greatly from one area to another. Just check with the folks in Harvey who got buried in snow in 2019 when snow shovels were barely needed in Minot.
Point is, I hope people appreciate that winter’s arrival has been delayed. Don’t worry. It will get here soon enough. There are days ahead when we will be shoveling, snowblowing, bundling up against the cold and wind, having “wind chills” in weather forecasts, trudging through drifts, and wishing for spring.
For now, every day that doesn’t look or act like what we know a North Dakota winter can be, brings spring a little bit closer and, hopefully, with a better outlook than what has transpired in 2020. Oh yes, officially, we are still in the fall season. Winter actually begins December 21.