Eastern ND and Northwest MN Weather History

The Weather History for the Month of February

2/1/1996
An extremely cold air mass infiltrated the northern plains, bringing record breaking cold to much of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. On February 1st, the temperature plummeted to 51 degrees below zero at Fosston, and 45 below at Thief River Falls. On the following night, temperatures once again fell to 45 to 55 degrees below zero. The governor closed all schools in the state of Minnesota on account of extreme cold.
2/2/1996
An extremely cold air mass infiltrated the northern plains, bringing record breaking cold to much of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. On February 1st, the temperature plummeted to 51 degrees below zero at Fosston, and 45 below at Thief River Falls. On the following night, temperatures once again fell to 45 to 55 degrees below zero. The governor closed all schools in the state of Minnesota on account of extreme cold.
2/3/2007
Cool surface high pressure settled into the western and central Dakotas, in the wake of a cold front. By the morning of February 3, temperatures ranged from -30F to -35F over northwest MN. Along with northwest winds at 10 to 20 miles per hour, wind chill temperatures dropped to -40F to -55F.
2/4/1984
A surprise blizzard had a severe impact on the northern plains, including the city of Fargo, ND. Although snowfall totals were relatively minor (1 to 2 inches), very strong wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour brought whiteout conditions to much of the region. Thousands of people were stranded in vehicles or fish houses. A total of 16 people lost their lives across the upper Midwest after being stranded or caught outside during the storm.
2/5/1984
A surprise blizzard had a severe impact on the northern plains, including the city of Fargo, ND. Although snowfall totals were relatively minor (1 to 2 inches), very strong wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour brought whiteout conditions to much of the region. Thousands of people were stranded in vehicles or fish houses. A total of 16 people lost their lives across the upper Midwest after being stranded or caught outside during the storm.
2/6/1991
A very warm air mass brought unseasonable warmth to the northern plains. Daytime high temperatures were in the upper 40s to around 50 degrees, setting new daily high temperature records for select locations.
2/7/2001
Two periods of snow fell over the course of these two days, with the most snow falling the night of the 7th. Hoffman, MN, reported 11 inches of snow for the event.
2/8/2001
Two periods of snow fell over the course of these two days, with the most snow falling the night of the 7th. Hoffman, MN, reported 11 inches of snow for the event.
2/9/1899
Record-breaking cold temperatures occurred in northwestern Minnesota. Overnight low temperatures fell to 51 degrees below zero at Park Rapids, 53 below at Detroit Lakes, and 48 below at Bemidji.
2/9/2008
A blizzard developed across the Red River Valley as winds increased to 45 miles per hour amidst light snowfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. Bitter wind chills also accompanied the storm.
2/10/1996
Rain changing to snow, coupled with a sustained wind of 35 to 40 miles per hour, caused blizzard conditions across the Red River Valley. The storm prompted numerous road closures as road travel quickly became dangerous. Many travelers were stranded in motels, local high schools, and public facilities.
2/11/1982
A record-shattering cold spell forced the mercury below zero for the 49th straight night at Grand Forks, ND. This set a new record for the most consecutive nights of sub-zero temperatures at Grand Forks International Airport. The cold streak ended on February 13th, 1982, setting an official record of 51 consecutive nights below zero.
2/12/1923
The “Black Dust Blizzard” brought significant snow and wind to portions of Minnesota. Dirt from North Dakota created darkened snow drifts.
2/13/1915
A total of 1.1 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation fell at Fargo, ND. This was the largest 24-hour precipitation total for Fargo during the month of February.
2/14/1866
A severe blizzard raged across Minnesota from February 13th until February 15th. In western Minnesota, drifts of up to 20 feet buried barns and other buildings. This was arguably one of the worst blizzards in Minnesota history.
2/15/2000
A low pressure system moved across South Dakota into southern Minnesota, with a band of heavy snow over portions of northwestern Minnesota. Snowfall accumulations ranged from 6 to 8 inches.
2/16/2006
Arctic high pressure built southeast out of western Canada, settling across eastern Montana and the central plains. Eastern ND and the northwest quarter of MN remained on the eastern edge of the surface high, with just enough of a surface pressure gradient to allow wind speeds to stay in the 10 to 15 mile per hour range. On the morning of the 17th, temperatures ranged from -20F to -30F. Very little recovery occurred during the day, with temperatures peaking around -10F to -15F. On the morning of the 18th, temperatures fell back to -20F to -30F. This kept wind chill temperatures in the -40F to -60F range.
2/17/2006
Arctic high pressure built southeast out of western Canada, settling across eastern Montana and the central plains. Eastern ND and the northwest quarter of MN remained on the eastern edge of the surface high, with just enough of a surface pressure gradient to allow wind speeds to stay in the 10 to 15 mile per hour range. On the morning of the 17th, temperatures ranged from -20F to -30F. Very little recovery occurred during the day, with temperatures peaking around -10F to -15F. On the morning of the 18th, temperatures fell back to -20F to -30F. This kept wind chill temperatures in the -40F to -60F range.
2/18/2006
Arctic high pressure built southeast out of western Canada, settling across eastern Montana and the central plains. Eastern ND and the northwest quarter of MN remained on the eastern edge of the surface high, with just enough of a surface pressure gradient to allow wind speeds to stay in the 10 to 15 mile per hour range. On the morning of the 17th, temperatures ranged from -20F to -30F. Very little recovery occurred during the day, with temperatures peaking around -10F to -15F. On the morning of the 18th, temperatures fell back to -20F to -30F. This kept wind chill temperatures in the -40F to -60F range.
2/19/2008
Record and near record setting cold air poured into eastern ND and northwest MN on Tuesday (19th) and Tuesday night. The combination of moderate northerly winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour and very cold temperatures produced wind chills of 40 to 50 degrees below zero.
2/20/2008
Record and near record setting cold air poured into eastern ND and northwest MN on Tuesday (19th) and Tuesday night. The combination of moderate northerly winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour and very cold temperatures produced wind chills of 40 to 50 degrees below zero.
2/21/2008
Record and near record setting cold air poured into eastern ND and northwest MN on Tuesday (19th) and Tuesday night. The combination of moderate northerly winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour and very cold temperatures produced wind chills of 40 to 50 degrees below zero.
2/22/1936
A record-shattering cold spell forced the mercury below zero for the 44th straight night at Detroit Lakes, MN. This set a new record for the most consecutive nights of sub-zero temperatures at that location.
2/23/2007
A prolonged snow event occurred from February 23rd until February 25th over much of the northern plains. Snow amounts ranged from 14 inches in Wadena, Minnesota to around 1.5 inches in Bisbee, North Dakota. The Grand Forks area received 7.1 inches of snow from Saturday through Sunday, while Fargo saw amounts around 5.3 inches. A slow moving low pressure area moved out of the central plains Friday night, then into Michigan by Monday morning. The slow movement of the system allowed moisture to be transported over the entire region, and significant snow fall amounts occurred. Many areas saw localized heavier amounts from snow bands, which increased accumulation rates over small areas. These snow bands are challenging for meteorologists to forecast, and this is one reason why it is so tough to pin down exact snow amounts in a forecast.
2/24/2006
A winter storm brought 9 to 11 inches of snow to portions of eastern ND and northwestern MN. The snowfall forced several schools to close where accumulations were more significant.
2/25/1958
The temperature climbed to 66 degrees at Fargo, ND, setting a new all-time record for the warmest temperature in February.
2/26/1999
A strong storm system moved from eastern Colorado toward the Red River Valley. The storm brought over an inch of rain to eastern North Dakota. The rain changed to snow over portions of north central North Dakota, resulting in up to 8 inches of snow at Esmond, ND.
2/27/1996
Large snowfall amounts, compounded by increasing wind speeds, brought near zero visibility to the area. Snowfall accumulations of 6 to 10 inches were common. The hazardous weather conditions forced many schools to close, pushing the number of winter weather closures to significant numbers.
2/28/2007
A strong storm system brought heavy snowfall to eastern North Dakota, with widespread accumulations of 8 to 20 inches.
2/29
So why exactly do we have leap years? Every four years an extra day -- Feb. 29 -- is added to align the calendar year with the Earth's motion around the sun. A calendar year is 365 days, but it actually takes the earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Therefore, every four years, the extra time adds up to an extra day.

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