(NOAA) The National Weather Service, which I find is the most accurate of all the weather services just released their winter forecast for North Dakota.  More on that in a minute.

As you probably heard by now, we are officially in a La Nina pattern.

Which generally speaking means a wet cold winter for us.  However, before you get your hopes up for some serious snowmobiling in North Dakota this winter, we were also in a La Nina pattern last winter.  We all know how that went.  It was a dry and warm winter for us.  In fact, the last two winters have been dry and warm.  The only exception was snow in October and a cold spell to go with it.

October snow looks rather unlikely for us here in Bismarck.

We are expecting a chance of showers tomorrow and tomorrow evening, but it will be too warm for snow.   The rest of the month looks seasonable to above average.  Even Halloween looks pretty nice for the trick or treaters with highs in the mid-'40s

November however looks to be more active for North Dakota, with numerous snow chances.  Many are hoping for more snow this winter to help ease the drought concerns.  We seem to be slipping out of the dry cycle with some nice rains over the last month but more precipitation is certainly needed.

So, what is the National Weather Service saying about this year's winter forecast? 

It could be a colder than average winter for central and western North Dakota.  We have a 33 to 40% chance of that here in Bismarck, with a better chance for western North Dakota.  You can see that by this map below.

NOAA National Weather Service screenshot
NOAA National Weather Service screenshot

As far as precipitation, the entire state looks to have an even chance of above-normal or slightly below normal precipitation.  As dry as it's been here in North Dakota, I bet most of us would settle for normal or a little above normal.  Normal snowfall for Bismarck, North Dakota is 46 inches by the way.  Here's what you can expect as far as precipitation this winter.

NOAA National Weather Service Screenshot
NOAA National Weather Service Screenshot

Drought conditions are expected to stay the same for the rest of the fall.  Hopefully, we will be able to build snowmen this year in Bismarck.  We certainly need the moisture.


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