Average Weather in Bismarck North Dakota, United States
In Bismarck, the summers are warm; the winters are freezing, dry, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 5°F to 85°F and is rarely below -16°F or above 95°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Bismarck for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.
The hot season lasts for 3.6 months, from May 29 to September 17, with an average daily high temperature above 73°F. The hottest day of the year is July 24, with an average high of 85°F and low of 60°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.4 months, from November 24 to March 4, with an average daily high temperature below 35°F. The coldest day of the year is January 12, with an average low of 5°F and high of 23°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
Bayzhansay, Kazakhstan (6,201 miles away); Jiayuguan, China (6,345 miles); and Shitanjing, China (6,268 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Bismarck (view comparison).
In Bismarck, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Bismarck begins around June 8 and lasts for 4.0 months, ending around October 7. On July 27, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 76% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 24% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 7 and lasts for 8.0 months, ending around June 8. On January 10, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 60% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 40% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Bismarck varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.5 months, from April 23 to September 7, with a greater than 19% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 34% on June 13.
The drier season lasts 7.5 months, from September 7 to April 23. The smallest chance of a wet day is 4% on February 2.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Bismarck changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 7.9 months, from March 15 to November 9. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 34% on June 13.
Snow alone is the most common for 4.1 months, from November 9 to March 15. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 5% on December 29.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Bismarck experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 7.2 months, from March 26 to November 2, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 16, with an average total accumulation of 2.8 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from November 2 to March 26. The least rain falls around December 30, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Bismarck experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 6.2 months, from October 23 to April 29, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around December 27, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.3 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 5.8 months, from April 29 to October 23. The least snow falls around July 24, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Bismarck varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2018, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 32 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 15 hours, 52 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:48 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 40 minutes later at 8:28 AM on November 3. The earliest sunset is at 4:54 PM on December 11, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 47 minutes later at 9:41 PM on June 25.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Bismarck during 2018, starting in the spring on March 11, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 4.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
Bismarck experiences some seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 2.7 months, from June 13 to September 5, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 4% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 18, with muggy conditions 14% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is February 28, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels
The average hourly wind speed in Bismarck experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 8.8 months, from September 14 to June 7, with average wind speeds of more than 10.9 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is March 31, with an average hourly wind speed of 12.3 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 3.2 months, from June 7 to September 14. The calmest day of the year is July 26, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.5 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Bismarck varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the north for 2.9 months, from February 15 to May 11, with a peak percentage of 33% on February 22. The wind is most often from the south for 4.5 months, from May 11 to September 25, with a peak percentage of 35% on August 20. The wind is most often from the west for 4.6 months, from September 25 to February 15, with a peak percentage of 41% on January 1.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Bismarck throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Bismarck for general outdoor tourist activities is from late June to late August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Bismarck for hot-weather activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the third week of July.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
The growing season in Bismarck typically lasts for 4.5 months (139 days), from around May 12 to around September 28, rarely starting before April 23 or after May 29, and rarely ending before September 10 or after October 16.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Bismarck should appear around April 26, only rarely appearing before April 14 or after May 11.
Growing Degree Days
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.4 months, from May 3 to August 17, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.1 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 2, with an average of 7.3 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from October 28 to February 13, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.5 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 25, with an average of 1.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Bismarck are 46.808 deg latitude, -100.784 deg longitude, and 1,670 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Bismarck contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 276 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 1,709 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (499 feet). Within 50 miles contains significant variations in elevation (938 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Bismarck is covered by artificial surfaces (80%) and grassland (11%), within 10 miles by grassland (78%) and cropland (12%), and within 50 miles by grassland (73%) and cropland (24%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Bismarck, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Bismarck.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Bismarck according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Bismarck is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Bismarck and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Bismarck Municipal Airport (98%, 3.5 kilometers, southeast); Mercer County Regional Airport (0.9%, 81 kilometers, northwest); and Glen Ullin Regional (0.9%, 82 kilometers, west).
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .