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December weather outlook

After months of nearly record setting rains, farmers have finally gotten a reprieve.

By Frank Turner

Over the month of November, the southwest region of North Dakota has received below average precipitation for the month, allowing crops to dry and producers to get into their fields for a late harvest. 

According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Nathan Heinert, over the past 30 days, the region has received a half-inch below normal precipitation, and temperatures have been slightly below normal.

Marching into December, Heinert said the Climate Prediction Center expects the below average precipitation trend to continued. Currently, the forecast predicts a high chance for above average precipitation and equal chances for above or below average temperatures.

So what is considered average for the month of December?

Heinert said that the average temperature for the month can vary greatly from the beginning to the end of the month.

“The temperatures usually fall pretty quickly as we get into the middle part of December,” he said.

According to National Weather Service data, the typical highs are usually in the low 30’s and lows are in the lower teens. Toward the end of the month, Heinert said to expect highs in the low 20’s and lows in single digits.

Average precipitation for the month of December is roughly a quarter-inch, which translates to three to six inches of snow.

Looking at broader indicators, Heinert said to expect temperatures to “rollercoaster” over the next month, alternating between warm and cool temperatures.

“It looks like this will be one of those typical winters where we are going to see periods of colder temperatures followed by intermittent periods of milder temperatures,” he said.

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