Since Fargo-Moorhead weather recordings began in 1881, the average lowest temperature of the winter season is 28 below. The coldest temperature on record is 48 below set Jan. 8, 1887.
The average number of calendar days in a cold weather season in which the temperature falls to at least 20 below is seven.
On occasion, a winter goes by without reaching 20 below. In the winter of 2001-02, the coldest temperature was 10 below, which is the mildest lowest temperature of any winter on record.
Last winter, the lowest temperature was 22 below. The previous winter only got as cold as 19 below.
The last winter with a temperature that reached the 28-below average was the winter of 2009-10 when it was 33 below on Jan. 2.
With our winter warming trend in recent decades, the frequency of those really cold days has been decreasing. Very cold weather still happens, but a little less frequently.