Fargo Moorhead’s average temperature in 2008 was 3.2 degrees colder than what was recorded in 2007. This was not only a local phenomenon as this cooling trend was observed nationally as well. Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center, the repository of all climate records, indicated that nationally the average temperature dropped 1.34 degrees from 2007 to 2008.
This significant drop in temperatures ended a streak of several years when national temperatures were above average. The United States as a whole has, in recent years, been experiencing average temperatures last seen during the 1930s. The temperature decline in 2008 brought the average temperatures nationally back to the long-term normal temperature observed during the 20th century.
If this trend toward more average temperatures nationally continues is unknown. Considering some of the long-term climatic shifts that have occurred in recent years, my hunch is more 2008 type years will become increasingly common in the years ahead.