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Weather: The great winter that isn't - at least not yet

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Welcome to the great winter that isn't or at least hasn't been thus far. Official statistics for the area are difficult to come by, but a reasonable estimate is that the Bemidji area has received 3-5 inches of snow so far. Typically snowfall by this point measures 10-12 inches.

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For this December, so far, the average high is 22 and the average low is 7. These temperatures are approximately 5 degrees above average. Ten-day forecasts issued by government agencies and private companies are in agreement that temperatures will continue to run above average through Christmas. The prospects for snow by then are few. A chance exists later next week but that system appears as though it will track south of the north woods.

Want some snow? As strange as it may sound, you need to head south. Areas around Winona and Rochester are reporting snow cover of 4-6 inches. Visible satellite images show a solid swath of snow covering the ground from the Twin Cities south into northern parts of Iowa and Nebraska. These areas have seen several storm systems and have recorded 6-12 inches of snow so far.

Significant snowfall was reported earlier this week across the desert areas of New Mexico and Arizona. Highways throughout much of New Mexico were closed and a dusting of snow even fell in Scottsdale, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix. So, you don't need to envy neighbors or friends who gloated as they packed up to head south for the winter.

The National Weather Service's 90-day forecast holds out hope for the snow obsessed among us. The northwoods falls into the area with better-than-average odds of above-average snowfall and below-average temperatures.

Take these long-range forecasts with a grain of salt, however. Weather is the result of many factors, some of which are difficult to predict so far in advance.

Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation director.

Email him at tsiemers@

bemidjipioneer.com

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