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Scot's 2012 Snowfall Predictions

October 15, 2012, 7:00 PM by Scot Mundt

From the record dry summer to El Niño, I've talked about the factors that have influenced me in making the snowfall prediction for the upcoming winter. 

After looking at the data, this winter will be influenced by the strengthening El Nino pattern but the dry ground we have in place for much of the central plains will also play a role.

I think El Nino will be the dominating factor early in the season with the Pacific Jet to our south keeping a lot of the storms out of KELOLAND.  But the record dry conditions combined with dips from the northern jet will keep much of KELOLAND below average for temperatures through at least January.  Then temperatures will slowly warm above average toward spring. 

Moisture will still be hard to come by early in the season, but I think we'll try to make up for it in the spring.  I expect many locations will stay below average for snowfall.

In Sioux Falls, I'm going with 31.2 inches of snow, with a lot of that falling after the New Year.  That's about ten inches below average, but close to twice as much as what we received last year.

I'm sticking my neck out even more this year and will forecast for other areas of KELOLAND too.  When we get into a northwest flow this winter, it will favor northern KELOLAND to get a little more snow. 

So, I think Aberdeen will get a little more than Sioux Falls with 34.9 inches, just a couple inches below Aberdeen's average of 37.

Central KELOLAND will have the hardest time getting moisture with Pierre almost ten inches below its average with 21.4 inches.

Rapid City will get close to 38 inches this year with 37.8 inches.  The best chance for above average snow will be in the Hills.  The Lead/Deadwood area averages about 175" for the season.  This year I think they'll get just more than 200 inches at 201.2 with a lot of that falling in the late winter and early spring.

You can see how good, or how bad I'm doing by visiting KELOLAND.com.  Under the weather header a tab for "Scot's Weather Corner" will appear.  On this page, you can find out how my prediction is going as well as a crude daily weather forecast.  That will be quick thoughts on what forecast models are showing. 

To follow along with the snow this winter at home, stop by any KELOLAND HyVee store to pick up your KELOLAND Live Doppler measuring stick.  And don't forget to send those snow reports to stormcenter@keloland.com.

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