FARGO - It was a mild October, and the first half of November has seen record warmth in the region, but it looks like reality will set in by the end of the workweek for the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Record temperatures were set in Fargo and Grand Forks on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Fargo's high temperature was 67 degrees, topping the previous record of 65 set in 1999, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. Meanwhile, Grand Forks' high hit 64 degrees at the NWS office near Interstate 29. The previous record was 59, set in 2007.
The next few days will also remain above normal for this time of year, but temperatures are expected to dive toward normal at the end of the week, with early forecasts calling for a mix of rain and snow Friday, Nov. 18, and snow showers early Saturday, WDAY-TV and NWS forecasters say.
Forecasters are unwilling - yet - to say if significant snowfall will close out the workweek.
"At this point, there's potential, but that is as far as we can go right now. There's too much (forecasting) model uncertainty," Al Voelker, an NWS meteorologist, said Sunday.
"There is the potential for something (of a wintry storm), but that is about as far as we can go right now. We don't have a lot of agreement" between the forecasting models, Voelker said.
WDAY's Chief Meteorologist John Wheeler agrees.
"It's very premature to say there is a snowstorm coming or is not coming five or six days out," he said. "It's still too early to know if there is even going to be a storm."
However, the change in weather patterns Wheeler's promised for the past two weeks is on the way.
"I've been alluding to a weather pattern change. That is still looking like it's going to happen at the end of this week. Gone will be the steady stream of mild day after mild day. That's going to go away until spring," he said.
"It looks like right now that by the weekend, we'll be dealing with high temperatures near average," which is to say, near freezing, he said.
That's normal for November, "but it will seem like it's a shock, because it's been so warm," Wheeler said.
Today's WDAY forecast calls for a partly cloudy, breezy day with a high of 54 and a low of 36 degrees.
Tuesday and Wednesday will also see highs in the mid-50s. But by Thursday, the high is expected to dip to 48 degrees, with a light rain in the evening.
Friday's high is expected to be 45 degrees, with a potential for a mix of rain and snow and an overnight low of 35. Saturday morning could see snow showers in the morning, with a high of 29 degrees and a low of 22.
Wheeler said it's possible a mix of cold air and moisture could spin up a storm system, but it will be a couple of days before that will be known.
"Really, until we're closer to it, the middle of the week, we're not going to be able to get serious about whether it will be a storm or just a nuisance," Wheeler said.
Voelker said the first half of this November puts it on track to be the warmest November on record.
"We'll see how that pans out here," he said.
For now, the jet stream is riding "quite a ways north of us," and the region is under a warm air mass, he said. But change is coming.
"Everybody stay tuned," Voelker said.