Since records began on January 1, 1881, the official recording site in Fargo Moorhead has always recorded at least one negative low temperature during the cold season before the New Year began. Considering that the average date for the first negative temperature is November 28, that may be of no surprise, yet, with a highly variable climate such a feat is clearly possible and for a while, the winter of 2015-2016 may have appeared to be the year that may break that streak, but alas, on the evening of December 26, 2015 the temperature dropped below zero.
The record for the latest first below zero temperature in Fargo was on December 31, 1987. That winter trended colder once the calendar switched to 1988, but that first negative did occur just before the new year. The Top 10 latest first negative temperature (°F) are listed below for Fargo Moorhead. The corresponding last negative of the previous “spring” is listed as well in column 2.
First negative in the same format for Grand Forks (University records), Bismarck and Williston are presented below. Williston was the only station of the four listed that recorded the first below zero reading near the average of late November and therefore, did not make the Top 10 (or 15) list.
Grand Forks Top 10 latest First Negative of Season:
Bismarck Top 15 latest First Negative of Season (to include this year as #15):
Williston Top 10 latest First Negative of Season: