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WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 16, 2012, 06:28 PM

Mild winter weather continues to break records

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We begin tonight with our weather…or lack of it. Today's temperatures approached 40. Now thanks to a high angle of the sun, what little snow we have will melt in a hurry.

We begin tonight with our weather…or lack of it. Today's temperatures approached 40. Now thanks to a high angle of the sun, what little snow we have will melt in a hurry.

Daryl Ritchison – WDAY StormTRACKER Meteorologist: “This is an example of what the higher sun angle is doing for us. You'll notice a melting off of the snow right here, this is something this time of day 2 or 3 weeks ago that we would not have seen.”

StormTRACKER Meteorologist Daryl Ritchison says that's because a few weeks ago the sun was sitting right around 25 degrees at solar noon. It's now up to 30 degrees. That number is up from 19 degrees on December 21st.

Daryl Ritchison: “You know in the summer time it will go all the way up to 66, but 30 degrees seems to be that magical mark at least that will start being more noticeable, again especially for the roads that they start melting with the sun being out in the day.”

Because of the higher angle it doesn't matter if we see below freezing temperatures, we could still see melting.

Daryl Ritchison: “Sun angle is sufficiently high enough in the sky that you will notice melting on pavement really no matter what the temperature is, even if it is 2 to 3 degrees below zero in the afternoon.

Being able to see your way around the parking lot isn't the only good news. The days will now be getting longer and warmer, which can only mean one thing: spring is upon us.

Daryl Ritchison: “Most people have noticed the sun sets nearly at 6 o'clock now, whereas around the winter solstice it was 20 minutes to 5 around 4:40.”

It may be hard to believe spring is coming when it feels like it is already here, NDSU Climatologist Adnan Akyuz says nothing about this winter has been ordinary.

Adnan Akyuz – NDSU Climatologist: “Currently we are experiencing the warmest September through today period in the history.”

With the record breaking winter there is just one more record to beat.. We are just 3 days away from having the most winter days above freezing ever.

In the last 4 winters combined there were only 34 days above freezing, and right now we have 41 days so far this winter.

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