Climate of Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Grand Forks
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
0.8
 
 
15
−4
 
 
0.6
 
 
22
4
 
 
0.9
 
 
34
17
 
 
1.2
 
 
53
31
 
 
2.1
 
 
69
44
 
 
3
 
 
77
54
 
 
2.9
 
 
81
58
 
 
2.9
 
 
80
56
 
 
2
 
 
69
45
 
 
1.6
 
 
55
34
 
 
0.9
 
 
33
18
 
 
0.6
 
 
19
3
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: NOAA [1]

The Climate of Grand Forks, North Dakota is a warm summer continental (Köppen Dfb) typical of cities located in the Great Plains, with four very distinct seasons and great variation in temperatures over very short periods of time. The city's climate is characterized by long, cold winters with moderate snowfall and warm summers which are typically humid.

Temperature[edit]

Grand Forks lies in the middle of the North American continent on low-lying, flat land. Since it is located in the Great Plains, it has an extreme continental climate, in that there are great differences between summer and winter temperatures. As there are no nearby mountain ranges or bodies of water to ameliorate the winter climatic conditions, Grand Forks lies exposed to numerous weather systems including bitterly cold Arctic high pressure systems. This can result in bone-chilling temperatures as early as the end of October, followed by bitter cold temperatures and readings during December, January and February. During these three months, the high reaches freezing on only 18 days, and the low falls below 0 °F (−17.8 °C) for 50 days per year. [1] Cold weather and snow will occasionally extend into April, although in general the winter weather begins to moderate in late February or early March. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −43 °F (−42 °C), most recently on January 30, 2004. [2]

Summers are typically warm with varying degrees of humidity. In Grand Forks, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are becoming extremely scarce as storm systems have been shifting towards the country's coasts within the past decade. [3] Depending on the year, warm weather can continue beyond to October, or come to an abrupt end soon after Labor Day. The city often receives an Indian Summer, when summer weather returns briefly after the first frosts, in mid to late October, or even early November. The highest temperature ever recorded in Grand Forks was 109 °F (43 °C) on July 6, 1936. [1]

Precipitation[edit]

The wettest month is June and the driest is December, and precipitation is concentrated from May to September. There is generally snow cover from mid-November to the end of March, though this varies depending on the year—heavy snowfalls in late October and in April are not uncommon. The city averages 37.2 inches (94 cm) of snow per season. [1]

Statistics[edit]

Climate data for Grand Forks International Airport, North Dakota (1981–2010 normals,[4] extremes 1893–present[5]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 52
(11)
67
(19)
83
(28)
100
(38)
105
(41)
105
(41)
109
(43)
104
(40)
103
(39)
95
(35)
75
(24)
58
(14)
109
(43)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 39.2
(4)
42.0
(5.6)
54.2
(12.3)
78.1
(25.6)
87.2
(30.7)
90.3
(32.4)
92.3
(33.5)
93.5
(34.2)
89.1
(31.7)
76.3
(24.6)
57.4
(14.1)
40.3
(4.6)
96.0
(35.6)
Average high °F (°C) 16.5
(−8.6)
21.9
(−5.6)
34.2
(1.2)
53.9
(12.2)
68.0
(20)
76.1
(24.5)
81.0
(27.2)
80.2
(26.8)
69.6
(20.9)
54.3
(12.4)
35.1
(1.7)
20.3
(−6.5)
51.1
(10.6)
Average low °F (°C) −3.1
(−19.5)
2.1
(−16.6)
16.1
(−8.8)
30.0
(−1.1)
41.5
(5.3)
52.0
(11.1)
56.3
(13.5)
54.0
(12.2)
44.2
(6.8)
31.9
(−0.1)
17.0
(−8.3)
2.6
(−16.3)
28.9
(−1.7)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −25.4
(−31.9)
−21.4
(−29.7)
−8.2
(−22.3)
16.2
(−8.8)
27.6
(−2.4)
40.3
(4.6)
46.0
(7.8)
41.3
(5.2)
30.1
(−1.1)
17.3
(−8.2)
−2
(−19)
−18.9
(−28.3)
−29
(−34)
Record low °F (°C) −43
(−42)
−42
(−41)
−36
(−38)
−9
(−23)
5
(−15)
28
(−2)
30
(−1)
30
(−1)
11
(−12)
−9
(−23)
−35
(−37)
−37
(−38)
−43
(−42)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.55
(14)
0.52
(13.2)
0.96
(24.4)
1.01
(25.7)
2.68
(68.1)
3.48
(88.4)
3.15
(80)
2.88
(73.2)
2.05
(52.1)
1.97
(50)
0.95
(24.1)
0.61
(15.5)
20.81
(528.7)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 10.7
(27.2)
6.6
(16.8)
7.2
(18.3)
2.6
(6.6)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
trace 1.5
(3.8)
7.7
(19.6)
10.7
(27.2)
47.1
(119.6)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.1 6.6 7.5 7.0 10.6 11.6 10.5 9.1 8.3 8.5 6.9 8.5 103.2
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 10.1 7.1 5.5 1.9 0.2 0 0 0 0 1.3 5.6 9.8 41.5
Source: NOAA[1][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2017-08-29. 
  2. ^ "Daily Averages for Grand Forks, ND". MSN. Retrieved 2010-05-14. 
  3. ^ http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/
  4. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  5. ^ Records for Grand Forks have been kept at the Grand Forks International Airport since April 1965, the former Grand Forks Municipal Airport from September 1948 through March 1965, and at Grand Forks University from January 1893 to August 1948.
  6. ^ "Station Name: ND GRAND FORKS INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2017-08-29. 

External links[edit]