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Published March 18 2013

Editorial: A promise that this winter will end

The sentiment among many Red River Valley residents is that it’s been a very long winter. “Is it ever going to end?” they ask.

Yes, it will, but not today.

The sun might shine a bit, but winter’s cold has not yet given up its grip on the region. High temperatures have been reliably below long-term averages for most of March. Sub-zero cold at night, while not record-setting, has been the rule, especially to the north of Fargo, where just a few days ago Langdon, N.D., recorded 18 below zero, the lower 48’s lowest for that day.

Long winter? Well, not really. As anyone who has lived in these climes for a few years knows, wintry weather can hang on until May. Snowstorms in April can crank up into rip-roaring prairie blizzards. Some of the biggest, most memorable, most deadly storms in valley history came in March and April.

Residents of the region who were around in 1997 will recall the early April storm that started out as a warm rain and rapidly evolved into a fierce spring blizzard. By the end of the event, the storm had dropped rain, freezing rain and several inches of snow. Then the temperature dropped to near zero. Oh, yes, there also was a near-record flood that spring.

Spring? Hard to see it when the weather is so winter-like. But there is hope. Last year at this time the snow was long gone, temperatures were flirting with 70 degrees, lawns were greening and the ice was breaking up on the lakes. Maybe that’s why the winter of 2012-13 seems so long. Memories of balmy March last year linger.

It will end. Really, it will. That’s a promise. When, you ask? No promises about that.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.