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Anna G. Larson, Published October 06 2013

Red River Valley bypasses weekend storm

Rain totals

Fargo: 1.4 to 1.52 inches

Southwest Fargo: 1.67 inches

North Moorhead: 1.54 inches

South Moorhead: 1.65 inches

Kindred: 1.89 inches

Grand Forks: 0.90 inch

Source: National Weather Service, Grand Forks

FARGO – With clear skies, temperatures in the mid-50s, and no snow in sight, Sunday was a picturesque autumn day in the valley.

“That’s about as good as you get for October around here. Some people would probably like it a little warmer, but this is about where it should be,” says meteorologist Peter Rogers of the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

The calm, sunny day was a reminder that the Red River Valley lucked out and bypassed the weekend storm system that dropped nearly 4 feet of snow in the Black Hills of South Dakota and 18 inches in Hettinger.

Most snow fell in western South Dakota and Wyoming, Rogers says.

The valley saw some precipitation, but nothing significant, he says.

The valley could continue to miss out on the snow, Rogers says, adding that it’s not uncommon to have a snowless October.

The average date for a dusting of snow (anything less than an inch) is Oct. 29, and the average first snowfall of an inch or more is Nov. 14.

Late October to mid-November generally marks the first snowfall, Rogers says.

At this time last year, the first recorded snow had fallen in the area. Oct. 4 and 27 saw 1.4 inches of snowfall, and Oct. 28 brought another 1.8 inches, with a total accumulation of 3.6 inches for the month.

Right now, there’s no clear indicator if the next few months will be cooler, wetter or snowier than normal, Rogers says.

Temperatures and precipitation have an equal chance of being above, below or near normal, according to the three-month seasonal outlook by the Climate Prediction Center.

By the end of the month, the area will likely be chilly because temperatures cool off rapidly with the earlier-setting sun, Rogers says.

Average temperatures for the beginning of October are around 64 degrees, and by the end of the month, the high is typically near 48 degrees. November highs are even lower, with an average of 28 degrees.

The week ahead looks pleasant, with highs near 70 degrees for most of the week and no chance of rain until Friday when another weather system moves through the area.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525