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Weather Talk: Climatology office accepts high Moorhead dew point

Last week, the Minnesota State Climatology Office announced that it had accepted the 88-degree dew point registered at the Moorhead Airport on July 19 as accurate, thus breaking the state dew point record by 2 degrees.

Last week, the Minnesota State Climatology Office announced that it had accepted the 88-degree dew point registered at the Moorhead Airport on July 19 as accurate, thus breaking the state dew point record by 2 degrees.

The announcement stated that the sensor had been found to be working properly. This is disappointing, because that sensor has been reading dew points consistently 2 to 8 degrees higher than at Fargo's Hector Airport over the past several years.

At the time of the 88-degree dew point in Moorhead, the dew point at Hector was 83. Are we to conclude that Moorhead is a more humid place than Fargo? Obviously not. The difference in the readings comes from different kinds of sensors used and from differences in the locations.

At the time of the record, the field near the Moorhead sensor was flooded from a recent rain and so was obviously reading high. Because a sensor is supposed to reflect the surrounding area, the presence of an evaporating pond of water very near the sensor should at least call for an asterisk, if not a disqualification.

Have a weather question you'd like answered? Email weather@wday.com , or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

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