Average Weather in Moorhead Minnesota, United States
In Moorhead, the summers are long and warm; the winters are frigid, snowy, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 2°F to 83°F and is rarely below -18°F or above 90°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Moorhead for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.
The warm season lasts for 4.1 months, from May 16 to September 19, with an average daily high temperature above 70°F. The hottest day of the year is July 24, with an average high of 83°F and low of 61°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.3 months, from November 27 to March 5, with an average daily high temperature below 31°F. The coldest day of the year is January 15, with an average low of 2°F and high of 19°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
In Moorhead, 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 Moorhead begins around June 5 and lasts for 4.2 months, ending around October 11. On July 27, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 74% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 26% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 11 and lasts for 7.8 months, ending around June 5. On February 3, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 63% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 37% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Moorhead varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.7 months, from April 28 to September 18, with a greater than 22% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 40% on June 14.
The drier season lasts 7.3 months, from September 18 to April 28. The smallest chance of a wet day is 5% on January 28.
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 Moorhead changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 8.3 months, from March 11 to November 20. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 40% on June 14.
Snow alone is the most common for 3.7 months, from November 20 to March 11. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 6% on January 11.
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. Moorhead experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
The rainy period of the year lasts for 7.9 months, from March 17 to November 14, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 20, with an average total accumulation of 3.5 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 4.1 months, from November 14 to March 17. The least rain falls around January 16, 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. Moorhead experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 5.5 months, from November 4 to April 20, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around January 5, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.3 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 6.5 months, from April 20 to November 4. The least snow falls around July 21, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Moorhead varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2019, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 32 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 15 hours, 53 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:31 AM on June 16, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 40 minutes later at 8:12 AM on January 1. The earliest sunset is at 4:38 PM on December 11, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 47 minutes later at 9:25 PM on June 26.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Moorhead during 2019, starting in the spring on March 10, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 3.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
Moorhead experiences some seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.
The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.0 months, from June 10 to September 11, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 7% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 20, with muggy conditions 26% of the time.
The least muggy day of the year is November 29, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The average hourly wind speed in Moorhead experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 8.4 months, from September 18 to June 1, with average wind speeds of more than 10.8 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 12.6 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 3.6 months, from June 1 to September 18. The calmest day of the year is August 1, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.1 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Moorhead varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 6.5 months, from May 12 to November 26, with a peak percentage of 40% on August 26. The wind is most often from the north for 5.5 months, from November 26 to May 12, with a peak percentage of 34% on January 1.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Moorhead 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 Moorhead 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 Moorhead for hot-weather activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the last 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 Moorhead typically lasts for 5.0 months (152 days), from around May 5 to around October 4, rarely starting before April 16 or after May 23, and rarely ending before September 15 or after October 24.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Moorhead should appear around April 28, only rarely appearing before April 17 or after May 14.
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 3.5 months, from May 3 to August 21, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.9 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 8, with an average of 7.1 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from October 28 to February 12, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.4 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 23, with an average of 1.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Moorhead are 46.874 deg latitude, -96.770 deg longitude, and 902 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Moorhead is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 43 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 899 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (79 feet). Within 50 miles is essentially flat (823 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Moorhead is covered by artificial surfaces (93%), within 10 miles by cropland (83%) and artificial surfaces (16%), and within 50 miles by cropland (91%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Moorhead, 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 Moorhead.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Moorhead 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 Moorhead is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Moorhead and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Hector International Airport (61%, 7 kilometers, northwest); Moorhead Municipal Airport (38%, 9 kilometers, southeast); and Gwinner-Roger Melroe Field Airport (1.0%, 99 kilometers, southwest).
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .