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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 22, 2014, 10:05 PM

This winter is off to a frigid start but not the coldest overall, so far

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) -It seems like we've been hit with one cold blast after another this winter, but you might be surprised. Our winter doesn't even rank in the top 10.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) -It seems like we've been hit with one cold blast after another this winter, but you might be surprised. Our winter doesn't even rank in the top 10.

So far this winter, the average temperature has been four degrees. That makes it the 17th coldest first half on record. We actually had a worse first half than this a few years ago. But, being outside on a day like today, all people can think about is how cold they are now.

Winter is halfway over and it's been a tough one to bear, even for those who have lived here for decades.

When asked, "What is the coldest winter you've been through?" Sheri Bonham, a Fargo resident replies, "This one. Definitely."

Brady Mattern, Fargo resident: "It was pretty cold a couple years ago…definitely not worse than this."

Actually, it was only a few years ago that we did have a first-half of winter colder than this.

That was in 2008 to 2009, when the average temperature for the first half of January was just 3.4 degrees. There was also much more snow that year.

This winter ranks 17th in the coldest winters over the past 130 years, meaning we get a winter like this every 7 or 8 years on average.

John Wheeler, WDAY meteorologist: "It's cold, and you have every right to complain about that, but we actually haven't even broken ANY daily low temperature records this year. Not one."

Another recent cold first half was 2000 to 2001. It may not seem possible, but December 2000 was even colder than last month with an average temperature just under zero degrees compared with last month's four.

Maybe it's short term memory or maybe it's the increasing national coverage of cold temperatures, but we have been through worse.

Bonham: "I don't know if you ever get used to it, but we stay here for the people."

The coldest overall winter of all time in Fargo was 1886 to 1887

Where this year will rank on the list of coldest winters all depends on how the next half goes. Right now, it's not looking like it will get warmer any time soon.

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