December 1 through January 14 comprises the first half of climatological winter. The average temperature during that stretch of 45 days was 4.0 degrees in Fargo Moorhead. That ranked as the 17th coldest such period on record. Our recently completed cold December was frequently compared to an even colder December back in 2000. But the first two weeks of January 2001 were quite mild, meaning the first half of our current winter was even colder than the same period during the winter of 2000-2001.
One recent winter that to this point was colder was back in 2008-2009. December 2008 through the first two weeks of January 2009 averaged 3.4 degrees, noticeably cooler than our current winter. That winter was also recorded much more snow with a record breaking 33.5 inches measured in December 2008. It has been a tough winter and another long stretch of cold may be coming in another 10 to14 days, but at least to this point there are still several years that were even harsher.