Bone-chilling cold grips Red River Valley; Fargo ties record low, Grand Forks sets record

Wind chill warnings continue into Sunday morning; Monday and Tuesday will offer a break with highs in the double digits above zero.

Snow covers bushes on a frigid Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — New Year’s Day started with bone-chilling cold in the Fargo-Moorhead area and throughout the Red River Valley, and it will remain so for another day, before starting a steady climb toward more seasonal temperatures.

Early risers Saturday, Jan. 1, were greeted to minus-27 degrees, recorded at Fargo’s Hector International Airport. That tied the day's record low set in 2010, WDAY StormTRACKER team member Dillon Vogt confirmed Saturday afternoon.

A record low was also recorded at the Grand Forks Airport, bottoming out at minus-37 Saturday morning. The previous record for the day was minus-33 set in 2010, Vogt said.

Fargo had an early morning wind chill low of minus-38, while the Moorhead airport recorded a minus-45 wind chill, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks reported.

The coldest wind chill for Grand Forks early Saturday was minus-48, the weather service reported.


Ada, Minn., was the area's coldest recorded temperature early New Year's Day at minus-37 with a windchill of minus-51. Ada was followed by Hallock and Fosston, Minn., at minus-35 with minus-57 wind chills.

Throughout the area for the New Year, overnight and early morning temperatures without wind chill dropped into the minus 20s and minus 30s, with some stations getting near 40 below zero. With winds fluctuating between 5 and 14 mph, wind chill temperatures dropped into the minus 40s to minus 50s, the NWS reported.

Among the early morning New Year’s lows perfect for polar bears in eastern North Dakota:

  • Grafton recorded minus-32, with a wind chill of minus-55.
  • Finley was minus-27 with a wind chill of minus-58.
  • Devils Lake was minus-28 with a wind chill of minus-52.
  • Wahpeton was minus-28 with a wind chill of minus-45.
  • Langdon was minus-27 with a wind chill of minus-53.
  • Valley City was minus-26 with a wind chill of minus-51.

Other northwestern Minnesota towns shivered, too:

  • Roseau was minus-33 with a wind chill of minus-51.
  • Detroit Lakes was minus-31 with a wind chill of minus-43.
  • Wadena was minus-30 with a wind chill of minus 41.
Snow tops roofs, roads, and trees in south Fargo on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Greg Gust, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service in Grand Forks, said a dome of arctic air over the region is moving across central North Dakota to the south of Fargo-Moorhead and will be moving into southwest Minnesota Saturday night.

Gust said it will be less windy Sunday, with abundant sunshine.

Still, a wind chill warning for the region continues through Sunday morning, Vogt said. "It's very cold, with wind chill values of minus-40s to minus-50s," he said.

Sunday’s high could hit 8 degrees, WDAY-TV forecasts, with high’s Monday and Tuesday climbing to 21 and 15 degrees, before once again heading back down to highs of 0 Wednesday and minus-9 for Thursday.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
What to read next
These trends are measurable, but subtle.
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
NOAA will use this computer upgrade to launch new model applications starting this fall.
Growing the number of Fix It Forward shops helps support the efforts of the Fix It Forward Ministry, a nonprofit that repairs and donates vehicles to people in need, Fix It Forward co-owner Matthew Carlson says.