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Ryan Johnson, Published July 16 2012

Fargo bakes in its warmest calendar year on record

FARGO – The city is in the midst of its warmest calendar year on record, the National Weather Service reported Monday.

Between Jan. 1 and July 15, Fargo had a relatively balmy average daily temperature of 46.3 degrees – well above the previous record of 45.2 degrees by this date set in 1987.

The warm weather also extended north this year, with Grand Forks posting its second-warmest average daily temperature on record of 43.9 degrees by Sunday.

Mark Ewens, a climate forecaster with the weather service in Grand Forks, said the entire Red River Valley has seen temperatures 2 to 4 degrees above normal for the past month.

Since Jan. 1, the region has averaged 6 to 8 degrees above normal.

While that may not sound like much, Ewens said that’s a “pretty significant” difference because it shows temperatures have been well above normal all year.

Fargo’s Hector International Airport averaged 69.9 degrees in June, making it the seventh-warmest June on record for the city, and thermometer climbed above 90 degrees during eight of the first 15 days of July.

Ewens said the current outlook calls for above-normal temperatures in August and a continuation of the dry weather that has put much of eastern North Dakota and parts of northwest Minnesota into a severe drought.

But an El Nino system that could develop late this summer or early fall could bring some relief, because the phenomenon often leads to cooler, wetter weather for the Red River Valley.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587

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