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Merry Christmas from The Dakotan!

Cold December Confirmed 

Kim Fundingsland
 December 23, 2022
 •

Already a month for the record book 

MINOT – Just step outside and you know. December has been a cold month, even by North Dakota standards. 

Minot’s average December temperature at the International Airport, if anything weather related can be average in North Dakota, is 19.6 degrees. So far this month Minot has averaged just 8.4 degrees, or more than 11 degrees below normal. 

There hasn’t been a December this cold in Minot since 1906 when the average was 8 degrees. We still have about a week remaining in the month to move up or down a bit in the record book, but the region is all but assured of ending up at the wrong end of the thermometer. 

The Christmas Day high is expected to top 10 degrees, far better than the record minus 41 in 1914. However, 25 mile per hour winds will make Christmas Day feel colder than it really will be. 

Wondering about snowfall? Well, Minot is ahead of schedule there too. 

Minot’s average snowfall for December is 10.1 inches. Through December 22 the North Central Research Center south of the city, where official snow measurements are taken, recorded 13.8 inches of snow. That’s record book stuff too, already ranking as the 14th most snow received in December since 1905. 

Need more proof that this is a December to remember? 

Fine. Lake Sakakawea is frozen over too.  

The state’s largest body of water was declared fully ice covered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19. 

You guessed it. Early. 

The latest freeze date for Lake Sakakawea was January 24, 2021. Last year the big water froze over Dec. 28. 

Earliest Freeze Dates for Lake Sakakawea: 

(61 years of data) 

1 -- NOV. 30, 1985  

2 -- DEC. 11, 1961 

3 -- DEC. 14, 2000, 2013 

5 -- DEC. 15, 1989 

6 -- DEC. 17, 2008 

7 -- DEC. 18, 1984, 1995 

9 -- DEC. 19, 1972, 1983, 2022 

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