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WeatherTalk: Exploring statistics of springs without 80-degree weather

It's a difference between ten out of 142 and two out of 77

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FARGO — With the temperature still shying away from the 80-degree mark this spring, we are approaching some rarefied air. This could be only the 10th year since the record for Fargo-Moorhead was begun in 1881 that the temperature has failed to reach 80 degrees until June. At first glance, this is not all that amazing. Something that happens 10 out of 142 times works out to about one out of 14, which is uncommon but not freakishly so.

However, a closer examination reveals that four of those years were between 1882 and 1892, with two more in 1924 and 1927, one in 1935, and one in 1945. Since 1945, it has gotten to 80 degrees before June at least once every year except in 1983 and possibly again this year. Twice in 77 cases is indeed a rare and impressive event. Just a few miles north, Grand Forks has failed to reach 80 degrees in spring on five occasions since 1945.

Related Topics: WEATHER
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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