Depending on where you stand on this issue, this could be good news or bad news. Last year at this time of year, we already had close to an inch of snow in Bismarck.

The temperatures this year have been milder and if you like the sound of that, more above-average temperatures are anticipated for next week. The area will have a short-lived little cold snap Friday night and Saturday, but Sunday, our high will be near 70 degrees!

Staff

Thursday, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its forecast for the Midwest, calling for slightly above to almost normal temperatures. You are already guaranteed a shorter winter due to the fact it's been mild so far this month.

Take a look at the national precipitation outlook:

NOAA

And here's what the national temperatures are predicted to be:

NOAA

Micheal Matthews with NOAA said,

The forecast for December through January, below average temperatures are favored in parts of the south-central and southeastern United States.

What that means for North Dakota is there is an equal chance that conditions will be near normal this winter, according to Mathews.

Bismarck received its first measurable snowfall of 0.6 inches on Oct. 4, 2013 and accumulated 40½ inches for the year.

Here are some records you may want to forget - the most snowfall in a season for Bismarck is 101.6 inches established during the winter of 1996-97.

The 2008-09 season came close to the record at 100.3 inches.

On October 5 last year, ranchers and cattlemen in Southwest North Dakota and South Dakota were hit hard by close to three feet of wet, heavy snow and strong winds killed thousands of head of cattle.

What a difference a year makes - I'm not sure how much of your sled you'll get to use this year!

Hang in there, April is just around the corner!