What Will Winter be Like in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota This Year?
It's hard to believe with the above-average temperatures we're experiencing right now that all of this is going to come crashing down.
But it will, sooner than you might expect.
In fact, a quick glance at the calendar shows that the official start of winter, December 21, is just weeks away.
And as we head into the coldest of the four seasons in the Upper Midwest, the same two questions pop up each year:
How cold will South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa get this winter?
How much snow are we going to get?
The weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have examined the latest long-range forecasts and models to formulate their best predictions for Winter 2022-23.
While the Southwest, Gulf Coast, and Eastern Seaboard can all look forward to warmer-than-average temperatures thanks to the third straight La Niña, the NOAA says the Upper Midwest won't be so lucky.
The models show most of Iowa and South Dakota, as well as Southern Minnesota with a 33 to 40 percent probability of below-normal temperatures in December, January, and February.
The chances of colder-than-usual winter weather jump to 40-50 percent in extreme Northeastern South Dakota and Central and Northern Minnesota.
That's the bad news.
The good news?
Snowfall amounts in the tri-state area (with the exception of the Eastern tip of Iowa) should be in the normal range for December, January, and February.
That might also be the bad news as well.
Without an increase in precipitation, the vast majority of Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota, already mired in a drought, will see those extremely dry conditions continue, or in some cases, worsen.