Wrapping up Winter by the Numbers - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Wrapping up Winter by the Numbers

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Friday, February 28, brought the chilling end to 2013's meteorological winter. The season stretches 90 days, from December to February. In one of the most brutally cold winters most can remember, the numbers are there to back it up.

Here's a first look at what our Storm Team put together:
Over the 90 days of winter, Fargo has seen 65 days where the low temperature has dropped below 0 degrees. The average is 33 days. Those numbers equate to more than two-thirds of winter days with sub-zero lows. There were 21 consecutive days where the low temperature dropped below zero. In addition, the temperature never rose above 0 degrees for 14 of those days, a total of 2 weeks consistently below zero if those days were combined together! Oddly enough, there were no record temperatures, just consistent cold, below-average readings. This winter will go down as the 15th coldest in Fargo with an average temperature of 4.3 degrees. The last time we experienced a top-20 average cold winter in Fargo was in 1982, when the average temperature was 3.3 degrees.

Average Temp for Fargo Dec1 - Feb 28
Rank  Value  Ending Date   
1    -1.1    2/28/1936   
2    -0.7    2/28/1883   
3    -0.0    2/28/1884   
4     0.4    2/28/1888   
5     0.6    2/28/1979   
6     0.8    2/28/1893   
7     1.2    2/28/1917   
8     2.8    2/28/1978   
9     2.9    2/28/1885  
10     3.1    2/28/1965  
11     3.3    2/28/1982  
12     3.9    2/28/1894  
13     4.2    2/28/1904,  2/28/1918  
15     4.3    2/28/2014
16     4.5    2/28/1937  
17     5.2    2/28/1886  
18     5.6    2/28/1907,  2/28/1956  
20     6.0    2/28/1949

But, the cold was much more severe up north. In Grand Forks, there were 71 days where the thermometer dropped below 0 degrees. The seasonal average is 37.  25 of those days, the temperatures never climbed about above 0.

A total of seven blizzard warnings were issued in the Grand Forks National Weather Service office warning area.  The region averages a little more than two blizzards per year. The record is 10 from the winter of 1996-1997.

Though winter may officially be over for record-keeping purposes, astronomical winter continues through most of March until the vernal equinox. And winter weather is far from over in the Red River Valley. Snow has fallen even into the months of May and June!

We'll have more information to come. Stay tuned!


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