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Medora gets dusting of snow for Cowboy Christmas and Mother Nature continues working on white

Press Photo by Katherine Grandstrand There was enough snow in Medora on Saturday to make the historic North Dakota town feel Christmasy, but not enough for these horses to pull a sleigh. Organizers of the 17th annual Old-Fashioned Cowboy Christmas had to cancel some weather-related events like snow sculpting and ice skating. The horses ended up pulling a wagon.1 / 2
Press Photo by Katherine Grandstrand Santa relaxes in Medora on Saturday.2 / 2

MEDORA -- Southwest North Dakota should see a white Christmas this year, even though the region's snow keeps melting away, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow was beginning to fall again Saturday morning after a few flakes fell Friday night in Medora for the town's 17th annual Old-Fashioned Cowboy Christmas. Many visitors said they appreciated the snow.

However, winter weather warnings were in place throughout much of North Dakota later Saturday. As of 5 p.m. Saturday there were no weather-related accidents in the region, North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Dan Haugen said, adding that the bad weather had just started at that time. isn't sure that Dickinsonians will be "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" come Dec. 25, predicting only a 40 percent chance of a white Christmas.

Dickinson is forecasted to get six to seven inches of snow in a winter storm/blizzard this weekend and if it doesn't get too warm that snow could stick around through the holiday, NWS Meteorologist Lindsay Tardif-Huber said Saturday from her Bismarck office.

"With the lower sun angle and the shorter days we're not going to have a lot of melting going on if we're below freezing," she said. "On that one warm day it could help the snow settle a bit and some of it could melt, but a lot of it may still stick around."

The southwest corner will experience several below-average temperatures in the next two weeks, including today, with a high of 8 F, State College, Penn.-based Meteorologist Andy Mussoline said.

Between now and the holidays, the area will have below-average temperatures with above-average precipitation, meaning more snow that should stick, Tardif-Huber said.

AccuWeather is predicting that after the weekend's storm there won't be significant snowfall before Christmas, Mussoline said.

"The overall weather pattern favors clipper systems coming across," he said. "Quick-moving systems with a quick coating to an inch or two of snow every now and then, but as the winter as a whole, we are forecasting snowfall below normal."

West Fargo residents Dan and Janet Harrington visited Medora Saturday for their second Cowboy Christmas and Janet's birthday.

"Otherwise we'd live on the West Coast, right?" Dan said of their enjoyment of the snow. "Or in Arizona."

Their tablemates at the Rough Riders Hotel, Mark and Kari Norby from Des Lac said last year's mild winter was a nice break.

"The lights are so much prettier and it just feels more like Christmas when there's snow," Kari said.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
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