Below average temps should give way to warmer winter

Sunday, October 7, 2018

As the fall kicks into full gear, many Glendive residents have taken note that the season seems to be sliding quickly into the winter. This of course sets everyone’s mind to worrying about what to do when the cold hits and the first snow falls, with plenty of people worrying that this will be another harsh Montana winter. However, winter in Montana can be spontaneous and hard to predict, but as of the time of writing, the National Weather Service station in Glasgow is forecasting for a warmer than normal winter.

“It’s going to be expectantly warmer overall,” said a NWS spokesman.

Though it’s too early to have exact temperatures, the NWS station does expect this winter to be warmer than the average between the months of December and February. However, for the time being, current temperatures have actually been below average.

According to the NWS, September of this year was 2.8 degrees below the average temperature, and while October is just getting started, it too is looking to be below the average temperature. However, we are only a few days into October so measuring how cold or warm it is going to be is difficult and saying it will be colder than average is just the current prediction.

This is quite a change from last year where the weather for this time of year was actually measuring above average.

September of last year was slightly above average, coming in at 0.4 degrees warmer than normal, while October had a larger difference, being 2.2 degrees above average, according to the NWS.

This time of year has also been somewhat drier than normal, as September ended measuring below the average amount of precipitation. The day that saw the most precipitation was Sept. 20, which got about 0.72 inches of precipitation.

In comparison, September of last year was exceptionally wet, measuring twice the average amount of rainfall with a total of 2.26 inches.

Despite the dryness of this year however, West Glendive Fire Department chief Richie Crisafulli said that there has been enough moisture that the current fire risk has diminished.

“We’re sitting pretty good right now,” Crisafulli said.

However, he also said that the risk was liable to change, as he has noted he hasn’t noticed much moisture in the ground and expects warmer temperatures in coming weeks.

Everyone should still be cautious and check the fire risk for their area regularly.

The weather also hasn’t slowed down this season sugar beet harvest very much either. According to Dwayne Peters, the Ag Department manager for Sidney Sugars, Sidney Sugars’ Pleasant View Beet Dump is operating ahead of schedule, currently sitting at an approximately 35 percent completion rate.

Peters said that Sidney Sugars plant is also operating ahead of schedule.

However, the weather has slowed down the beet harvest somewhat. The day of October 4 saw a frost covering the beets, so harvesters had to halt operations while the beets healed. Rain has also stopped operations at four of Sidney Sugars other beet dumps.

Despite the setbacks though, Peters has seen enough progress to think this year’s harvest has been a success.

“It’s been a pretty good harvest right now,” Peters said.

Contact Hunter Herbaugh at .