North Dakota weather is known for its drastic change in climate and extremely cold winters. According to www.weather-us.com, temperatures drop below 0°F for an average of 40 to 70 days statewide per year. North Dakota has a history of snowfall in all months except for July and August. Average snowfall in the coldest winter months — December through February — is 51” and strong high winds are consistent throughout the winter; however, this winter has been warmer than usual with several above-freezing days.
Sophie Wedar, a Minot State student from Minot, said that she notices the difference.
“This winter compared to other winters has been very mild. It hasn’t been as cold or snowy as it typically is. It’s been super nice this winter and I haven’t even brought out a thick winter coat,” Wedar said. “The average winter in Minot is normally freezing with a lot of snow.”
She said her worst winter in Minot was in 2016, which was far colder than the past few months.
“Bismarck got 16 inches and Minot 24 over the span of two days. We were snowed in at my cousin’s house for three days, and we couldn’t leave the house. It started snowing really bad on Christmas Day. My parents were planning on leaving for Florida, but their flight was delayed and eventually the airport was closed,” Wedar said.
Since Wedar grew up in Minot, she is used to the area’s weather. Many students at Minot State don’t come from North Dakota or the United States. Beth Theodore, a first-year transfer student originally from Melbourne, Australia, had her first experience of winter these past few months. The average temperature in Melbourne usually doesn’t drop below 50°F.
“I expected it to be very cold. I had never experienced snow before so I wasn’t sure how cold it would actually be. I think it was exactly what I expected it to be like because it hasn’t been too cold this winter, so I have been able to ease into the cold a little more,” Theodore said. “I prepared by buying a big warm jacket, but that was probably the only thing that I prepared with. I got other things like gloves, hats, and boots when I arrived on campus and it got super cold because I realized that I needed them.”