Snowmobilers rejoice as the rest of us cringe after first blizzard

The first blizzard of the winter has come and gone, and more snowfall is expected in the near future giving snowmobilers reason to rejoice.

Posted 12/10/2016

By Melissa Anderson

The Langdon Area Research Extension Center recorded a total snowfall of 10 inches over the course of the storm.
The past few winters have seen scant amounts of snowfall limiting winter sports popular in the area, including snowmobiling. In late October of this year,  the forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center issued the U.S. Winter Outlook and stated at that time that the country could expect to experience winter conditions  influenced by La Nina.
The Climate Prediction Center predicted the climate phenomenon as likely to develop in late fall or early winter as La Nina favors drier, warmer winters in the southern U.S. and wetter, cooler conditions in the northern U.S. If La Nina conditions materialize, forecasters say it should be weak and potentially short-lived.
The latest update for the month of December forecast from NOAA shows that North Dakota can expect below average temperatures and higher than normal precipitation. The prediction for January through March shows the same set of predictions of colder than normal temps and above normal snowfall.
These predictions give a glimmer of hope to those dreaming of snowmobiling, skiing, and everything snow. The blizzard that occurred early the week of December 5 had many twitching to get their snow gear on and to warm up their sleds.
Area school children also  got to enjoy a snow day that was followed by a  late start/early release day to get out into the winter wonderland.
The interstate system and many roads in North Dakota were closed for the duration of the storm. The North Dakota Department of Transportation kept busy as road conditions across the state changed as often as the wind speed. Many roads were either ice or  snow covered  or had scattered snow drifts or ice. The worst roads for unfortunate travelers had both. Many roads across the state and in Cavalier County were issued with no travel advised warnings.
The blizzard, which started late on Monday, December 5, held the state in its grip all throughout the week before settling down.
The weekend forecasted by the National Weather service held promise of further snowfall but not to the extent that was dropped by the blizzard.