Winter Forecast for the Crater of Diamonds

By Waymon Cox

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Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Colder temperatures will have many of us wishing for warmer weather in the months to come, but winter can be a great season to search for diamonds! Winter this year will begin on Tuesday, December 21 and continue until Sunday, March 20, 2022. What kind of winter will we have this year? Looking back at historical records and considering recent trends may give us a good idea of what to expect over the next few months.

Last winter was colder than the year before. Temperatures dropped below freezing at the park on 34 days during winter 2020-21, compared with only 23 days of below-freezing temperatures the year before. The average high last winter was 55 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average low was only 35 degrees.

Daily temperatures averaged in the mid-40s from late December through the end of January. Average temps dropped to around 39 degrees in February before warming to the mid-50s during the first half of March.

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Area residents likely remember that Monday, February 15 was the coldest day at the park last winter, with a high of only 21, a low of negative eight degrees, and about seven inches of snow on the ground! Though we usually see little to no snow at the park, it snowed more than ten inches from February 14-17, covering the ground for several days.

Overall, last winter was drier than the year before. 17 inches of rain fell over 20 days during winter 2020-21, compared with 24 inches over 32 days during 2019-20. January was the wettest month last winter, with more than six inches of rain falling over nine days.

Since mid-October, temperatures have averaged in the mid-50s, with five days of below-freezing temperatures and around four inches of rain. During the same period last year, the weather was slightly warmer and drier, with only two days of freezing weather and less than two inches of rain.

According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, we will likely experience above-average temperatures in the winter to come, with about the same amount of precipitation. If the trend holds true, we may see more rain but less snow than last year.

If you plan to visit the Crater of Diamonds State Park this winter, make sure that your time here is comfortable and well-spent by checking the weather and preparing ahead. Mornings at the park are usually cold. Dress in layers that you can remove as the weather warms. Parts of the diamond search area stay wet for several days at a time during winter. If it rains within a week of your visit, wear rubber boots or old shoes with wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Cloth gloves under long rubber gloves can protect your hands when wet sifting in water tanks at the park’s washing pavilions. Hand and body warmers are also ideal when spending any time outdoors in winter.

Weather plays an important role in making diamonds easier to find and determining which searching methods are more likely to be successful. Though we may not know exactly what we’re in store for this winter, we are looking forward to many beautiful days of diamond searching in the months to come!

Search area last plowed: November 18, 2021

Most recent significant rainfall: November 25, 2021

Recent diamond finds (100 points = 1 carat):

November 19 – Christopher Tampke, Longview, TX, 10 pt. white; Lee Westphal, Burnet, TX, 38 pt. brown
November 21 – Lee Westphal, Burnet, TX, 10 pt. yellow
November 23 – Gregory Taravella, Geismar, LA, 11 pt. white
November 24 – David Anderson, Murfreesboro, AR, 12 pt. white

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