One year ago today, it had been cold for a couple of weeks and the high temperature Jan. 28 was 6 degrees. That night, the weather turned a nasty and memorable combination of very cold as well as windy. The temperature fell slowly into the -20s by the afternoon of Jan. 29, with an average wind speed of 19 mph and a peak gust of 41 mph. Wind chill values reached 56 below. The actual air temperature reached -28 degrees by midnight and, with a diminished wind, a low of -33 on the morning of Jan. 30.
That night, the temperature fell to -26 degrees before a light south wind developed, which warmed the air at the official thermometer at Hector Airport by virtue of having blown air from south to north across the city. This was the first -30 degree reading for Fargo-Moorhead since Jan. 2, 2010. Throughout the 20th Century, -30 degree temperatures occurred an average of once per winter, but have become quite rare the past two decades.