Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Winter officially returned as of Monday, December 21, and will continue until March 20, 2021. With wide-ranging temperatures over the past couple of weeks, many of us are wondering what kind of winter we’ll have this year. Looking at previous winters and considering recent weather trends may give us a good idea of what to expect in the next few months.
Last winter was somewhat milder than the year before. Temperatures dropped below freezing at the park only 26 days last winter, compared with 34 days during winter 2018-19. The average high was around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average low was about 40 degrees.
Daily temperatures averaged around 52 degrees from the beginning of last winter through the end of December. January and February remained steady, with temperatures in the mid-40s. Temperatures warmed to the high-50s in March for the last few weeks of the season.
January was the coldest overall month last winter, with average highs around 55 and lows around 37. Wednesday, February 26 was the coldest overall day here last winter, with a high of 41 and a low of just 24 degrees.
Rainfall at the park last winter was comparable to the year before; 24 inches of rain fell over 32 days during 2019-20, while 23 inches accumulated over 25 days the previous winter. March was the wettest month last winter, with more than eight inches of rain in 11 days. Like most years, there was no recorded snow at the park last winter.
Since the beginning of December, temperatures have ranged from the low-20s to the mid-70s, with ten days of freezing weather and nearly four inches of rain. During the same time last year, the weather was somewhat cooler and drier, with less than an inch of precipitation.
If the trend of the past couple of years continues, we could be in store for a slightly warmer winter this year. According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, temperatures will likely be warmer than average early in the season, cooling slightly in February and March. Rainfall will likely stay about the same as last winter.
If you’re planning a trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park this season, pay attention to the weather forecast before you visit. Mornings at the park are usually cold, so dress in layers to stay comfortable as the weather warms. The diamond search area stays muddy for much of winter, so wear rubber boots or old shoes with thick socks to help keep your feet warm and dry. Cloth gloves under long rubber gloves can help if you plan to wet sift for diamonds (remember, you’ll need to bring your own screens right now). Hand warmers are ideal for this time of year!
Weather plays an important role in uncovering diamonds and determining which searching methods are most successful. Though we don't know for sure what kind of weather we're in store for this winter, we hope to have many beautiful days of diamond searching in the months to come!
Search area last plowed: October 16, 2020
Most recent significant rain: December 19, 2020
Diamond finds for the weeks of December 6 & 13, 2020 (100 points = 1 carat):
December 7 – Adam Hardin, Murfreesboro, AR, 6 pt. white
December 8 – David Murray, Lebanon, IN, 14 pt. white
December 10 – Dan Whittlesey, Tulsa, OK, 8 pt. white; Brent Peterein, Godfrey, IL, 4 pt. white, 7 pt. white, 15 pt. brown
December 11 – Brent Peterein, Godfrey, IL, 3 pt. white, 4 pt. white, 12 pt. white
December 12 – Sam and Sharon Jones, Fayetteville, AR, 2 pt. white, 9 pt. brown
December 16 – James Colvin, Dafter, MI, 3 pt. white, 3 pt. white, 4 pt. white, 34 pt. yellow
December 19 – Karl Siggelow, Tyler, TX, 2 pt. yellow; Harold R Sargent III, Irving, TX, 24 pt. brown