January 8, 2014

Extreme cold


One characteristic of North Dakota weather is that it is subject to change – sometimes quickly and dramatically.

An Urban Dictionary description of the state includes this observation: " … the state where the weather is like a lottery ticket … you don’t know if it’s going to be sunny one day then be blizzarding the next."

That pretty much seems to sum up local weather over the past week. Thursday, Jan. 2, Garrison had an air temp of -20 degrees.

Just a day later, the temperature reached 39 degrees – high enough to partially melt some of the icicles that hang from the lower edges of rooftops. Precipitation, in the form of light rain, froze on impact. City streets, already covered with a layer of compacted snow, were glazed with a thin layer of ice.

Over the weekend, temps dropped significantly with the promise that things would only get worse. The National Weather Service, Bismarck, predicted Monday temps lower than any seen in the past couple decades. Citing a wind chill factor in the -60 degree range, the NWS warned that the temps could be life threatening and that frostbite could occur in approximately five minutes.

The Weather Network