INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 15, 2012, 05:08 PM

Is the rapid warming trend in the Midwest normal?

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- On days like today, it's hard to believe that there's absolutely anything wrong with our weather.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- On days like today, it's hard to believe that there's absolutely anything wrong with our weather.

But a new study by a Climate Control group says Minnesota and North Dakota are warming up at a much faster rate than most other states.

The study shows that Minnesota is the third fastest warming state in the last 40-years...North Dakota comes in at number 21.

But are these numbers significant?

We looked to our own weather-master, Mr. Daryl Ritchison for the answer.

Ritchison: "1970 was in the period that many people were fearful of the next ice age, so we had warmed up dramatically at the early part of the 20th century, then had that big cooling trend in the 50s, 60s and early 70s and have warmed back up."

Here in the Northern Plains, we see some of the most brutal, vicious winters. Hard to imagine those bone-tingling temperatures on days like this when there is little to complain about.

But the heat is on, this according to a new U.S. Temperature Trends study by Climate Central, a group that advocates for climate change.

This study shows Minnesota has increased 6-tenths of a degree per decade since 1970; North Dakota, nearly half-a-degree - and every state in the continental 48 has seen at least a slight increase in temperature.

WDAY Stormtracker Meteorologist Daryl Ritchison says climate change is all relative, and in-fact, much of the world is now in a cooling trend over the last 12-months.

Ritchison: "We have been one of the luckier spots and this warm period will probably end and we'll start seeing below average temperatures at some point, I'm sure, in the next 12-months."

So what could this mean for us? Less deer? More mosquitoes? Investing in sunscreen? Well, Ritchison says, in the grand scheme of things, the numbers mean very little.

Ritchison: "All of this is the natural subtle ebs and flows of our climate in the Midwest."

Arizona was listed at number one.

When taking into account the last 100-years, the study found that three states, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama, actually saw average decreases in temperature per-decade.

Tags: