Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! We’ve had lots of cold weather over the past few weeks, and many of us are wondering what kind of winter we’re in store for this year. Taking a look back at previous winters and considering more recent weather trends may give us a good idea of what to expect in the months to come.
Winter begins this year on December 21 and continues through March 18, 2020. During this time, the Northern Hemisphere will be tilted farthest away from the sun, bringing on colder temperatures until spring returns. Last winter was somewhat milder than the winter of 2017-18. Temperatures dropped below freezing on 34 days last winter, compared to 41 days of freezing temperatures the previous winter.
The average high last winter was about 56 degrees Fahrenheit, while lows averaged 37 degrees. From late December through January, daily temperatures averaged 44 degrees. Temperatures rose to nearly 50 degrees on most days in February and March, but occasional cold weather persisted late into the season. Monday, March 4 was the coldest day at the park last winter, with a high of 36 degrees and a low of 20 degrees.
Last winter was also a bit drier than the winter of 2017-18. About 23 inches of rain fell at the park over 25 days, compared with more than 29 inches over 33 days in winter 2017-18. February was the wettest month last winter, with nearly 11 inches of rain.
We’ve seen a lot of cold, dry weather over the past few weeks. Since October 15, temperatures have averaged around 51 degrees at the park, including 21 days of freezing temperatures. It’s only rained about nine-and-a-half inches over that same timespan. According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, temperatures may be slightly warmer this winter, and the trend of less precipitation will likely continue, with more rain coming in early spring.
If you plan to visit the Crater of Diamonds in the next few months, wear rubber boots or old shoes with warm socks to navigate the cold, muddy search area. Cloth gloves covered with long rubber gloves can help if you choose to wet sift for diamonds. Hand warmers are also ideal for this time of year.
Weather plays a big role in helping uncover diamonds and determining which searching methods are most successful. Though we don’t know for sure what kind of weather we’ll have, we are ready to share in the excitement of anyone who searches for diamonds with us this winter or any season!
Search area last plowed: October 9, 2019
Most recent significant rain: December 11, 2019
Diamond finds for the week of December 8, 2019 (100 points = 1 carat):
December 11 – Lee Spencer, Aurora, MN, 3 pt. white
December 12 – Shirley Strawn, Murfreesboro, AR, 2 pt. white, 4 pt. white, 4 pt. yellow, 5 pt. white, 12 pt. white
December 13 – Derek Decook & Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 1.19 ct. white, 1.03 ct. yellow