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WeatherTalk: The coldest March on record in our area was in 1899

In most years, March weather only offers a sniff or two of spring weather

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FARGO — We can complain about cold and miserable late-winter weather all we want, but it is a common occurrence here in the Northern Plains. We are tired of the long winter and ready for spring, but in most years, even March weather only offers a sniff or two of spring weather. The coldest March on record for much of our region was back in 1899. What follows is from the Fargo-Moorhead record.

That March, the weather remained below freezing all day every day except two. On March 8, the temperature rose to 52 degrees, and it was 34 degrees two days later. The other 29 days were all below freezing. Fifteen of the 31 mornings in March were below zero and five of them were at least 10 degrees below. The month began with just five inches of snow on the ground but it ended with more than a foot. Adding insult, there was one final subzero morning on April 2, 1899.

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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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