Windows have opened as a breath of fresh, warm air washed over the region.
A heatwave traveling through this past week has awoken hibernators. Temperatures skyrocketed to 58 degrees Monday in Fargo, which broke the record, a record that’s been held for 113 years. Back in 1902, thermometers reached 55 degrees.
“There are a few reasons for the latest and the record warm up,” North Dakota State climatologist Adnan Akyüz said. “One of the most important one is the predominant wind pattern started to bring warmer air to (North Dakota). In addition to this warm air advection, there are also local impacts.”
This winter ranks in the top 10 driest for Fargo and as well as the top 20 in history for winter warmth.
“So far we have had half a month of warm weather followed by a half of cold this winter,” Akyüz said. “For example, (February) 11 through March 5 was the (eighth) coldest such period in Fargo’s climatological history since 1881.
“Prior to this cold period, we have had another warm period from (January) 15 through (February) 1. This period for Fargo was 3rd warmest in history since 1881.”
Warm weather and not a lot of snow is what the F-M community dreams of having, but Akyüz said some winters are bad for snow and others aren’t.
“(It’s) just part of our climate system,” he said.
Fargo is known for its bad snow snowstorms and classes school days canceled, but this year hasn’t been that kind of winter.
There has been 16.8 inches of snowfall this winter, which is eighth least in the history of snowfall recorded.
Is the area due, then, for a big storm? Akyüz said it’s improbable.
“However, the current trend is showing that the probability of significant snow after this point is very slim,” he said. “So far we have had only (two) storms that brought snowfall greater than 1 (inch), the first 1 (inch) and greater amount of snow came in (February) 10 which is the latest measurable snow in history for Fargo.”
With temperatures this weekend projected in the 50s and 60s, students may forget of how volatile the region’s weather can be.
“Meteorological spring starts in March 1,” Akyüz said. “But in reality, our spring does not start until April 1 based on the historical records. It is too early to put away our winter clothes.”