WeatherTalk: December days in the 50s happen about once in seven years

Although it has happened two consecutive Decembers.

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It was 51 degrees in Fargo on the first day of December. This raised many questions as to how unusual this is. Well, to begin with, there were two days in the 50s in Fargo during December of 2020. It was 50 degrees on the 6th and 53 degrees on the 8th. Historically, it has been as warm as 50 degrees during 20 of the 141 Decembers since 1881. That works out to about once every seven years.

In this century, it has been to 50 degrees in December in 2006, 2011 and 2012. In many of the Decembers with 50 degree days, there have been more than one. The most was eight in 1939, including the December record high temperature of 65 degrees on Dec. 6. In Grand Forks, there have been just eight Decembers with at least one day at 50 degrees in 128 years of record keeping.

John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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