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Winter Weather Outlook

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With winter right around the corner, the KDLT Weather Team has more information on what you can expect.
The 2011-2012 Winter Season is fast approaching with highs now tumbling into the 40's and with all of the leaves now off these trees, we all know that the dreaded "s" word cant be far behind.  But will this season be as snowy as last year, or will the dry fall lead to a dry winter?

Put it this way, it couldn’t get much worse then last year.  The 2010/2011 Season was one the upper Midwest had never seen before with the northern half of South Dakota experiencing its 4th snowiest February on record and the all time snowiest December on record.  With records dropping like flies last year and with snowfall totals topping almost 100 inches in Watertown, it is unlikely that last year would happen again. However with this being the second year of back-to-back La Nina winters. It could.

The similarities between this year and last year are unmistakable.... wet chilly springs leading to high spring flooding... wet summers... and now a mild fall.  Check out just how similar this October was to last years. With temperatures generally running above average.  The only major difference is the fall precipitation with this year being much drier and actually breaking yet another record.  So does that mean that we will have a dry winter as well??

Well, I wouldn’t get your hopes up.  Because of the major similarities, it looks like it could be another cold and snowy winter, which means these plows are going to get a lot more work. 

Temperatures are more likely to be below average, although in La Nina winters, wild temperature swings are common with long periods above freezing and even longer periods below zero.  Unfortunately for those that don’t like the snow, totals are once again likely to be at or above normal, but it will all depend on who gets hit by the really big storms, much like the twin cities did last year when the Metro dome roof collapsed.  These types of storms are also more likely to occur in La Nina winters.

But just remember, that even if its another brutal winter or a fairly tranquil one, this is South Dakota, gloves, hats, jackets, and even the shovels will always be needed, so prepare now so your not left out in the cold.

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