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Weather Talk: Averages are averages, and weather is weather

Today is the date of the average first 70-degree day of spring here in Fargo-Moorhead. This is different from the first day of spring with an average high of 70 degrees, which is May 16.

That the average first day to reach 70 degrees is a month before the day the average high reaches 70 is a testament to the normal wide variety of daily weather in our climate here in the northern Plains.

The average high today, Tuesday, April 17, is 53 degrees. The average low is 33 degrees. On this date in 1987, the daily record high of 82 degrees was achieved. On this date in 1910, the high was just 31 degrees, the record low maximum record.

The daily record low on this date is 9 degrees set in 1953. On this date in 1977, the morning low was a balmy 54 degrees, the record warm minimum temperature record. There was 3.8 inches of snow on this date in 1910 as part of a four-day snowstorm that brought about 8 inches total. An inch of rain fell April 17, 1930.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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