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Wendy Reuer, Published April 02 2012

March 2012 warmest on record for Fargo

FARGO – The old saying about March is it comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. In 2012, it was pretty much all lamb.

Last month set the bar for the warmest March ever recorded in Fargo. The average temperature was 41.6 degrees, surpassing the 1910 record average of 40.9 degrees, said Jeff Makowski, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

Both marks easily top the second warmest March average on record, 36.1 degrees in 1918, according to the weather service.

Makowski said March 11 tied the record of 59 degrees, and there was a balmy five-day stretch in mid-March in which the record high fell each day.

The new records highs on those days are:

WDAY-TV meteorologist Rob Kupec said local records for highest minimum temperature were also shattered in March.

The night of March 18 dipped to only 60 degrees. It was the warmest minimum temperature for any day in March since 1881

“To break the all-time record for a month by 12 degrees was huge,” Kupec said.

Both Kupec and Makowski said they don’t expect the record-high trend to continue in April.

“Early indications are that April will not be a record-setting month, even though we set a record for the first day of April. To get two record-setting months like that would be highly unusual,” Kupec said.

Makowski said it looks like April will have an average temperature close to the norm of about 42 degrees.

Although March was warm and dry, don’t figure that the possibility of winter weather is over.

“Traditionally we average a few inches of snow in April,” Kupec said. “More often than not when you have a warm March, it turns on you, and April and May tend to be colder.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530