End of February

With tomorrow being the last day of February, it appear the month will end up in the top 10 warmest on record.  Yet, even with the very warm temperatures in the past couple of weeks it won’t finish as the warmest as many have asked in the last several days.   The month started fairly cold… Read more End of February

Changing Times

The storm system that has been impacting parts of South Dakota and southern Minnesota yesterday and lingering through today is a sign of a pattern change I have been talking about occurring as we approach and move into March.  Although this storm is missing North Dakota there will be another storm as early as early… Read more Changing Times

Exposed Heat

Genuinely “spring-like” days usually do not happen until the snow is mostly melted off the fields because that is when the black topsoil in much of the region can absorb large amounts of sunlight and convectively heat the air which has been the case in some parts of the area this week. The highest temperature… Read more Exposed Heat

Quiet Februaries

February tends to be the least active of the three principal months of winter.  Most Februaries, North Dakota and Minnesota will experience weaker upper-level wind blowing from the northwest which form storms with little moisture.  The arctic remains cold, generating areas of high pressure which frequently move in to our area, increasing the amount of… Read more Quiet Februaries

Autumn vs. Spring

We are now 54 days passed the Winter Solstice and the days are getting noticeably longer and the Sun is getting higher in the sky each day.  The Sun angle now is the equivalent to what we experienced on Halloween.  Yet to use Fargo as an example, the record high on October 31 is 76… Read more Autumn vs. Spring

Snowy to Dry

The mild weather will continue through this week and although there may be just a touch of rain in a few locations, overall, the weather will stay dry this week as well.   A month ago much of the northern plains were near or above snowfall records through the first half of winter, but with just… Read more Snowy to Dry

Pothole Season

We are nearly two months past winter solstice and the Sun has once again reached a sufficient angle to warm the roads, roofs and buildings to above freezing each afternoon no matter what the actually temperature is.  But this melting also brings some problems.  With road temperatures quickly dropping to below freezing as the sunsets,… Read more Pothole Season

Tree Rings

As we know, snow is not a good absorber of visible light as a high percentage of the sunlight that strikes snow is reflected back into space.  But snow does absorb almost all of the infrared energy that strikes it.  The bark of the trees absorbs the energy from the sun and emits infrared (long… Read more Tree Rings

Already Wet

Winter for climatological statistics is always considered to be December, January and February.  Average precipitation during that stretch varies from about 1.5 inches to 2.3” across north Dakota.  To keep it simple we will just use 2 inches as the overall average.  Using that number pretty much all locations in North Dakota have already recorded… Read more Already Wet

Clipper Day

The snow in the area today is associated with an Alberta Clipper that will not only bring moisture, but also some cold air.  In fact, the coldest air since early January is expected the next couple of mornings.  Yet the cold air will only last a couple of days and by this weekend above average… Read more Clipper Day