Climate and Average Weather Year Round in Fargo North Dakota, United States
In Fargo, 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 Fargo for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.
Climate in Fargo
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 month of the year in Fargo is July, with an average high of 82°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 month of the year in Fargo is January, with an average low of 3°F and high of 19°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in Fargo
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 Fargo
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
In Fargo, 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 Fargo begins around June 5 and lasts for 4.2 months, ending around October 11.
The clearest month of the year in Fargo is July, during which on average the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 72% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 11 and lasts for 7.8 months, ending around June 5.
The cloudiest month of the year in Fargo is February, during which on average the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 61% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories in Fargo
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 Fargo varies significantly throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 4.7 months, from April 27 to September 19, with a greater than 22% chance of a given day being a wet day. The month with the most wet days in Fargo is June, with an average of 11.4 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
The drier season lasts 7.3 months, from September 19 to April 27. The month with the fewest wet days in Fargo is January, with an average of 1.8 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
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 Fargo changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 8.3 months, from March 11 to November 19. The month with the most days of rain alone in Fargo is June, with an average of 11.4 days.
Snow alone is the most common for 3.7 months, from November 19 to March 11. The month with the most days of snow alone in Fargo is January, with an average of 1.6 days.
Daily Chance of Precipitation in Fargo
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. Fargo 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 month with the most rain in Fargo is June, with an average rainfall of 3.5 inches.
The rainless period of the year lasts for 4.1 months, from November 14 to March 17. The month with the least rain in Fargo is January, with an average rainfall of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in Fargo
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Fargo experiences some seasonal variation in monthly snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 5.5 months, from November 4 to April 20, with a sliding 31-day snowfall of at least 1.0 inches. The month with the most snow in Fargo is December, with an average snowfall of 2.9 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 accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Monthly Snowfall in Fargo
The length of the day in Fargo varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2022, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 31 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 15 hours, 53 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in Fargo
The earliest sunrise is at 5:32 AM on June 16, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 44 minutes later at 8:15 AM on November 5. The earliest sunset is at 4:38 PM on December 10, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 47 minutes later at 9:25 PM on June 25.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Fargo during 2022, starting in the spring on March 13, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 6.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in Fargo
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2022. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases in Fargo
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
Fargo 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 6% of the time. The month with the most muggy days in Fargo is July, with 7.3 days that are muggy or worse.
The least muggy day of the year is February 27, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.
Humidity Comfort Levels in Fargo
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Fargo 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 month of the year in Fargo is March, with an average hourly wind speed of 12.4 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 3.6 months, from June 1 to September 18. The calmest month of the year in Fargo is July, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.4 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in Fargo
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Fargo varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the south for 6.4 months, from May 12 to November 25, with a peak percentage of 40% on August 26. The wind is most often from the north for 5.6 months, from November 25 to May 12, with a peak percentage of 35% on January 1.
Wind Direction in Fargo
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Fargo 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 Fargo for general outdoor tourist activities is from late June to late August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
Tourism Score in Fargo
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 Fargo for hot-weather activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
Beach/Pool Score in Fargo
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.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Fargo 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 in Fargo
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Fargo should appear around April 27, only rarely appearing before April 16 or after May 13.
Growing Degree Days in Fargo
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
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 month of the year in Fargo is July, with an average of 6.9 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 month of the year in Fargo is December, with an average of 1.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Fargo
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Fargo are 46.877 deg latitude, -96.790 deg longitude, and 902 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Fargo is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 43 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 898 feet. Within 10 miles is also essentially flat (75 feet). Within 50 miles is essentially flat (846 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Fargo is covered by artificial surfaces (99%), within 10 miles by cropland (83%) and artificial surfaces (16%), and within 50 miles by cropland (91%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Fargo, 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 Fargo.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Fargo 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 Fargo is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Fargo and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:
To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of Fargo and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.
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