The last 3 years in North Dakota, we have had early snowfalls.  Three years ago much of the state saw snowfall in late September.  Two Autumn's ago the same thing happened in North Dakota.  Last year, not only did we see snow early, but it was a major blizzard.  October 10th to 13th 2019, the state saw anywhere from a foot, to three feet over much of the state.  Here in Bismarck, we officially saw around 17 inches of snow.  This came right before the weekend of the pheasant opener in the state, and really limited where you could even hunt.  Travel was pretty much at a standstill with exception of the far western portions of the state.

Screenshot NWS

This record-breaking October blizzard certainly left its mark by the time the storm finally began moving out of the area on Sunday. Total snow accumulations as high as 36 inches were observed near Harvey with drifts over 10 feet tall.  These drifts were as high as some homes.  Snow drifts between one and two feet were common in central and eastern portions of North Dakota. Travel was just about impossible over much of the state as I-94, Highway 83 and other major highways were shut down because of the blizzard.  Tree damage was also common, especially over eastern North Dakota where most trees had yet to shed all of their leaves.  If you remember, the timing of this blizzard was terrible for the farming community.  Very few crops were out of the ground due to the already wet Summer and Fall.  This storm really delayed the Fall harvest, and in some cases, crops were not harvested until the Spring of 2020.

So now we flash forward to the Fall of 2020.  Things could not be anymore different.  Much of central North Dakota is in a drought.  The crops are coming off daily and even some of the corn crop has been harvested.  Looking at the long range forecast, there is very little chance for precipitation in October.  There will be a system moving through in the middle of the month, but that looks like rain.  According to AccuWeather's long range forecast, the best chance for Bismarck's first snow fall is Monday, November 9th.  The rest of November also looks very active with precipitation and much colder weather.

One things for sure, November 9th sure sounds better than October 10th.  Let's hope this prediction is somewhat correct.



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