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Ice formed on the Missouri River between Bismarck and Mandan in early December 2016.

A delay in ice formation on the Missouri River near Bismarck is anticipated as temperatures are expected to be above average beginning Monday and running through the remainder of the month, according to the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

Normal ice-over is the third week of December. This year, ice-over may not occur until January. Ice cover on lakes across the state will be thinner than normal for this time of year, impacting safe recreational use on frozen bodies of water. Below average snowfall favors better travel and less road maintenance.

The National Weather Service in Bismarck reports that central and western North Dakota can expect a brief shot of arctic air on Wednesday through Sunday. A pattern change will develop after Sunday, favoring above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation/snowfall for the rest of December.

Daily high temperatures at times could range 10 to 15 degrees above average. In general, average highs in early December are around 30 degrees decreasing to the lower 20s by the end of the month.

A few brief cold periods and light precipitation may still be possible.

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