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A storm plopped 2 feet of snow on Fargo 30 years ago. It's still the record-holder.

Gigantic mounds of snow dwarf Ron Iverson as he clears his driveway in north Fargo after a storm Jan. 6-7, 1989, that dropped a record 2 feet of snow. Forum file photo1 / 3
A photograph from the 1989 storm that dropped 2 feet of snow on Fargo-Moorhead. This photo was taken near 25th Avenue South in Fargo. Forum file photo2 / 3
This photo of the aftermath of the record-setting January 1989 snowstorm was taken near 25th Avenue South in Fargo. Forum file photo3 / 3

FARGO — It was 30 years ago this week that Fargo-Moorhead residents had to dig themselves out from a weekend storm that dropped 24.3 inches of snow over two days — an unprecedented parade of precipitation that to this day retains the record for most snowfall in a two-day period in the metro area.

The snow-choked streets and avenues, and a Forum story from the time quoted Fargo's street superintendent as saying it would take two weeks to clear downtown streets of snow.

The more than two feet of snow that fell on Jan. 6-7, 1989, contributed to a very snowy January that year — a month that ultimately saw 31.5 inches fall. That total was good enough to set the mark for snowiest month on record in the Fargo-Moorhead area, according to Jim Kaiser, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

About two decades later, January 1989 surrendered its title as the area's snowiest month when 33.5 inches of snow fell in December 2008. Still, January 1989 holds onto second place for Fargo-Moorhead's snowiest month, Kaiser said.

The average snowfall total for Fargo-Moorhead in January — typically the snowiest month of the year — is 8.4 inches, according to Kaiser.

After the big snowstorm the second week of January 1989, the Fargo-Moorhead area got another 5 inches of snow Jan. 10-11 that year. But after that, Kaiser said, it was quiet for a good six or seven weeks, in terms of snow that winter.

As far as the immediate forecast goes, Kaiser said nothing remarkable is expected for at least the next seven days, or so.

"There is nothing big on the horizon," he said.

Dave Olson
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