The past year was another year for the record books, says Jim Tarasenko, research specialist at the North Central Research and Extension Center south of Minot.
He said total moisture from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 was 33.28 inches. "That is record territory, as the record amount of moisture received in any one year was 1975, and that was 26.99 inches," he said. He said the long-term average moisture for a calendar year is 16.95 inches.
There were 1.11 inches of moisture for the month of December. This compares with 0.66 inch for the same period one year ago and the 107-year long-term average was 0.58 inch.
The smoke hangs heavily in the air on Thursday morning, shown from the Third Street viaduct in northeast Minot, when the temperature was around -21 degrees. This past month the coldest day was on Dec. 23 when the temperature hit -27 degrees, according to data at the North Central Research and Extension Center south of Minot.
"This past month of December we had a monthly average temp of 4.3 degrees, which was 6.7 degrees below last year's average temps for the same month," he said. He said it was 9.1 degrees below the 107-year long-term average of 13.4 degrees.
The coldest day of the year was -27 degrees on Dec. 23 and the warmest day of the summer was 93 degrees set on Aug. 19, Tarasenko said.
Tarasenko records the high and low temperatures every morning and combines them for the monthly average temperature.
The National Weather Service in Bismarck said Thursday that dangerously cold arctic air will spread across all of North Dakota on Saturday night and continue into Tuesday.
There will be life-threatening wind chills to 60 below zero, air temperatures to 30 below zero and wind speeds to 25 mph.
The weather service notes the impacts of this type of weather include:
Frostbite can occur in 5 minutes or less under these conditions.
Hypothermia or death can occur if precautions are not taken.
Denise Brew, Dunn County emergency manager/911 coordinator in Manning, in an email to media on Thursday, advised those who must travel during this dangerous weather to remember to be safe.
"If they must travel, let someone know when they are leaving, carry a winter survival kit, but most importantly, if possible, to remain at home," she said.
She said the first responders who must go out in these conditions are at risk and asks that travelers "please think of the risks" before heading out in these conditions.
Snowfall for the month of December was 14.3 inches, he said. He said this compares with 8.7 inches last year and the long-term average of 6.9 inches. Snowfall from Oct 1 to 8 a.m. on Dec. 31 has been 21.8 inches, he said.
The new year started with extremely cold temperatures but there will be some reprieve from it today as temperatures are expected to climb into the 30s, the National Weather Forecast says.
But the temperatures will drop down again.
The National Weather Service in Bismarck said that dangerously cold, arctic air will spread across the state on Saturday night and remain into Tuesday.