NWS: Past six months produce record Red River Valley warmth
It's been pretty toasty in the Red River Valley for the past six months. How warm? A record 33.2 degrees for the 181-day period from Sept. 1 through Feb. 29 at Grand Forks International Airport, according to the area National Weather Service office.
It's been pretty toasty in the Red River Valley for the past six months.
A record 33.2 degrees for the 181-day period from Sept. 1 through Feb. 29 at Grand Forks International Airport, according to the area National Weather Service office.
It's also the first time, for that time period, that the average daily temperature has been above 32 since 1941, when record-keeping began at the airport, the official site for temperature records.
The previous record was 31.2, set in 2002, according to the weather service.
In Fargo, it's been even warmer. The average over the six-month period ending Feb. 29 was 35.5 degrees, or 1.5 degrees warmer than the previous record of 34 degrees set in 2002.
"Wow. That is impressive," said Mark Ewens, climate forecaster for the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.
The agency also released preliminary data today showing that the winter of 2011-12, from Dec. 1 through Feb. 29, has been the warmest on record in Fargo, at an average daily temperature of 22.1 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 22 degrees set in 1987.
Grand Forks marked the second-warmest winter at 19.2 degrees, behind the 19.6 degree record established in 1983.
The records are unofficial, however, until they are confirmed by the final assessment made at the National Climate Data Center in Asheville N.C.
"The warm and dry weather seems to be the trend," Ewens said of the past six months, although two snow events the last week of February -- mostly in the southern Red River Valley -- interrupted the pattern.
The latest snow actually knocked Fargo out of the Top 10 list for its driest winters. Two weeks ago, this winter ranked fifth, but well behind the 7.5 inches that fell, up through Feb. 28, 1958. Now, Fargo is not even in the Top 50.
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