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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published August 20 2013

Weather Talk: Blistering heat waves of 1976, 1936 recalled

It was during this week in 1976 that this region was in the midst of one of the most severe heat waves on record. For nine consecutive days from Aug. 18-26, the temperature reached or exceeded 90 degrees. That is the second-longest stretch of 90 degree-or-above temperatures on record, only exceeded by the blistering hot stretch in July 1936 when 15 such days were recorded.

That August 1976 heat wave moved in suddenly, as temperatures went from the 80s to three straight days well above 100 degrees on Aug. 18, 19, 20. The highs those days were 106, 105 and 104 degrees. That was one of only three times since records started in 1881 that Fargo-Moorhead has recorded three or more straight days in the triple digits. Then, after three days in the 90s, the temperature reached 100 again on Aug. 24 that year, for a total of four 100-degree days in that nine day-stretch.

As a reference, Fargo-Moorhead has recorded just four days at 100 degrees in the past 24 years.

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