2018: A Wild Year For Local Weather

Bismarck – As the snow continues to fly outside, 2018 will be remembered for many things across North Dakota.

And the weather is no different.

Here’s a look at some of the top weather moments from 2018.

North Dakota’s first big snowstorm arrived the second week of January with some locations in western and central North Dakota picking up over 6 inches of snow…

“You can see here the snow drift behind me, I don’t know if you can see very well, but it’s about up to here on me, that’s the door I usually walk in to get to work and it’s totally covered up” Said former KX Reporter Emily Medina back on January.

Just days later the temperature plunged in Bismarck to a bone chilling -29 below zero on January 12th and 13th.

“Here are your temperatures right now, twenty seven below in Bismarck, that’s the actual air temperatures here, twenty five below in Williston and nineteen below in Minot, we’ve got even a warmer temperature here in Hettinger, 6 below that sounds pretty warm compared to what we have here actual air temperature in Rugby, thirty one below and thirty one below in Watford City” Said meteorologist Amber Wheeler

February and March each featured Snowstorms with over half a foot falling in the Bowman area February 8th while a blizzard ravaged the area on March 5th.

“If you dig into the snow here, you can see that the snow is heavier at the bottom of the layer, that means it’s wetter because overnight we had temperatures near freezing and eventually throughout the day they continued to decrease so then as we reach out way to the top that’s where it becomes lighter, but either way it’s still going to be that heavy snow and that’s gonna make it very difficult for those shoveling out there” Said former KX Meteorologist Heidi Werosta

March not only began like a lion, but ended like one as another snowstorm dropped more Heavy snow on March 30th.

“So here is the snow, forecast, you can see here, a lot of folks getting that five to eight inch range, on the outskirts of this narrow band of snow we could see a tight gradient around Bismarck”. Said Wheeler

Winter refused to quit as Western areas were dealt a snowstorm on April 12th.

Then the switch was flipped to severe weather season which kicked off May 7th when the first severe weather report of the season was reported in Grant county.

“Ok So here it is, this just became a severe thunderstorm warning, down here until 6:15 mountain time, and so when I looked at it a little while ago it was just about quarter size hail, obviously it is quarter sizer hail now, that’s why the weather service has issued that warning” Said Chief Meteorologist Tom Schrader.

Perhaps the most active severe weather period came June 26th and then the 28th and 29th when nearly 150 reports of severe weather were recorded including baseball size hail falling in Hettinger.

“That is very rare for North Dakota, to get that many events, that many reports of severe weather from just two episodes, just two days apart, and the event was very extreme”.  Said Meteorologist John Martin with the National Weather Service.

The first life was claimed June 29th when a micro burst packing 130 mph winds killed a man in McLean County.

“These right here, these are probably going to begin picking up speed, these may start heading eastward at 60 miles an hour, that is a tremendously fast set of severe thunderstorms so this could be a really significant issue when it comes to wind tonight” Said Schrader

Mother Nature provided her own fireworks on July 3rd as 40 reports of severe weather came including a house fire sparked by lightning in McIntosh County.

It would get worse on July 9th and 10th when an EF-2 Tornado would decimate a mobile home park in Watford City, taking the life of a six day old infant while injuring nearly 30 others.

“I’m standing in the area that received the worst damage from these storms, and as you can see it’s complete devastation and it left hundreds of people displaced” Said KX reporter Alexis Larson back in July.

August would be known not for its severe weather…but for sweltering temperatures as the mercury rose into the triple digits several times around mid-month with the temperature topping out at 104 in Bismarck on 12th.

“We had records broken nearly everywhere at least in the four major cities including Bismarck Dickinson Williston and Minot and those temperatures were just shattered, Williston had 108 degrees, which broke the record of 102 in 2015 so not that long ago” Said Werosta

Fall would start out much below normal temperature-wise before a big warmup would occur in December, making it one of the warmest on record.

And finally there was that post Christmas snowstorm followed by bitterly cold temperatures.

Despite the extremes, Bismarck is looking to finish right around normal for both temperature and precipitation in 2018.

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