Warmer In The Past

Although the winter has turned noticeably colder in the past few days, the temperatures this winter have been so mild that on many occasions I have heard numerous people mention that this has been the nicest winter ever.  As frequent readers to this blog know, the weather records in Fargo Moorhead started in 1881. It is unfortunate that records did not start a few years earlier, because the winter of 1877-1878 was likely either the warmest winter, or one of the warmest winters since European settlement in the region. 

Bismarck’s weather records started in 1874 and that winter ranks as the 2nd warmest behind the winter of 1930-1931.  That winter is considered the warmest on record for the Twin Cities, although, it was before the modern record cut off of 1891 for what is considered official records for them.  The February 10, 1878 edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press had a story reporting that the cavalrymen from Bismarck, Dakota Territory left the city in shirtsleeves.

Too often we think of our weather as being unique, when it actually has all happened before. 

4 Responses

  1. Do you have records of January 1983 or 1984 winter? I am sure you do but I remember the month of January in one of those two years where the temperature never went above zero even once. All we did was run outside and start our cars 2-3 times a day (at LPA elem. school)

  2. Daryl Ritchison

    The Winter of 1983/84 finished at at the long-term average. 1984-85 was slightly below average for temperatures.

    Most people remember a horrid stretch in December 1983 (probably the period you are referring to) that was just brutally cold, even by our standards, but the rest of the winter was pretty really wasn’t too bad by our standards.

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