With one week to go before Thanksgiving and the holiday forecast coming into view, it can be said that this November has been relatively kind to us. The first week of the month was pleasantly mild, and since then, snow and winter cold have been only sporadic. Here in the Northern Plains region, November is a winter month. The average daily high falls from the upper 40s in early November to the upper 20s by the end. Average snowfall is around eight inches. For most of the settled world, such conditions would qualify as hard winter.

By these standards, our October snowfall, when combined with the annual threat of lingering snow cover or a late blizzard in April, means our winters last approximately half the year. We who live here do so for a variety of reasons, knowing full well that our winters are long, and in doing so feel fortunate when the month of November passes with relative mildness.

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