It's hard to believe with the above-average temperatures we're experiencing right now that all of this is going to come crashing down.

But it will, sooner than you might expect.

In fact, a quick glance at the calendar shows that the official start of winter, December 21, is just weeks away.

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And as we head into the coldest of the four seasons in the Upper Midwest, the same two questions pop up each year:

How cold will South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa get this winter?

How much snow are we going to get?

The weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have examined the latest long-range forecasts and models to formulate their best predictions for Winter 2022-23.

2022-23 Winter Temps

While the Southwest, Gulf Coast, and Eastern Seaboard can all look forward to warmer-than-average temperatures thanks to the third straight La Niña, the NOAA says the Upper Midwest won't be so lucky.

The models show most of Iowa and South Dakota, as well as Southern Minnesota with a 33 to 40 percent probability of below-normal temperatures in December, January, and February.

The chances of colder-than-usual winter weather jump to 40-50 percent in extreme Northeastern South Dakota and Central and Northern Minnesota.

That's the bad news.

2022-23 Winter Precip

The good news?

Snowfall amounts in the tri-state area (with the exception of the Eastern tip of Iowa) should be in the normal range for December, January, and February.

2022-23 Winter Drought

That might also be the bad news as well.

Without an increase in precipitation, the vast majority of Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota, already mired in a drought, will see those extremely dry conditions continue, or in some cases, worsen.

10 Really Strange Things That Are Still Illegal in South Dakota

Even though these laws are rarely ever enforced nowadays, they still are on the books in South Dakota. Here are the Ten Commandments of South Dakota Law:

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Do You Remember These 10 Crazy Snowstorms In South Dakota?

Here's some news that some South Dakotans prefer not to hear this time of year. Winter is coming. In denial? The dropping temperatures and early snowstorms out west by Deadwood speak for themselves.

Slowly but surely, people of the Sioux Empire are bracing for colder weather and snow-covered roads. Even though snow will soon be gracing the Sioux Empire with its presence, some snow showers will not compare to these ten dreadful snowstorms that hit South Dakota.

Only In Your State highlights these ten snowstorms in South Dakota as a reminder for people to always be aware of the roads during the winter. These South Dakotan winters can be harsh, which is why it is always a good idea to plan ahead and prepare for the worst.

Do you remember any major snowstorms that hit South Dakota?

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