North Dakota Climate


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North Dakota is known for its continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. During the winter months, temperatures average below freezing, creating a winter wonderland with light snowfalls throughout the season. The summer months are usually hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching into the 90s during July and August. Precipitation in North Dakota is spread out fairly evenly throughout the year, though April tends to be the wettest month on average. Despite its cold winters, North Dakota experiences all four seasons in full force, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers of all kinds.

North Dakota, North Dakota gets 19 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year.

North Dakota averages 39 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.

On average, there are 201 sunny days per year in North Dakota. The US average is 205 sunny days.

North Dakota gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 79 days per year. Precipitation is rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls to the ground. In order for precipitation to be counted you have to get at least .01 inches on the ground to measure.

Weather Highlights

Summer High: the July high is around 82 degrees
Winter Low: the January low is 0
Rain: averages 19 inches of rain a year
Snow: averages 39 inches of snow a year

Bestplaces Comfort Index

North Dakota's annual BestPlaces Comfort Index of 6.5 (10=best) indicates it is less comfortable than most states in the United States.

9.2 Summer - 3.7 Winter
July, August and June are the most pleasant months in the state of North Dakota, while January and December are the least comfortable months.

  ClimateNorth Dakota, North DakotaUnited States
  19.2 in.38.1 in.
  39.4 in.27.8 in.
  78.5 days106.2 days
  201 days205 days
  1806 ft.2443 ft.

Many people confuse weather and climate but they are different. Weather is the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere is over long periods of time.

Weather is how the atmosphere is behaving and its effects upon life and human activities. Weather can change from minute-to-minute. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure.

Climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a place. Climate can mean the average weather for a particular region and time period taken over 30 years. Climate is the average of weather over time.

July is the hottest month for North Dakota with an average high temperature of 81.9°, which ranks it as cooler than most states. In North Dakota, there are 4 comfortable months with high temperatures in the range of 70-85°. The most pleasant months of the year for North Dakota are June, August and July.
North Dakota has 12.7 days annually when the high temperature is over 90°, which is cooler than most states in the U.S.
January has the coldest nighttime temperatures for North Dakota with an average of -0.4°. This is one of the coldest of the U.S. states.
North Dakota has 185.0 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is one of the coldest states in the U.S.
North Dakota averages 44.2 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is one of the coldest states in the U.S.
Humidity in the state of North Dakota is generally quite low and comfortable. There are few days during the summer when the humidity becomes unpleasant. The most humid months (but still comfortable) are July, August and June.
June is the wettest month in North Dakota with 3.5 inches of rain, and the driest month is January with 0.5 inches. The wettest season is Autumn with 45% of yearly precipitation and 8% occurs in Spring, which is the driest season. North Dakota's average annual rainfall of 19.2 inches indicates that it is drier than most states in the United States.
June is the rainiest month in North Dakota with 10.5 days of rain, and February is the driest month with only 4.3 rainy days. North Dakota's annual average of 78.5 days with measurable rain is less rainy than most states in the United States. The rainiest season is Autumn when it rains 34% of the time and the driest is Spring with only a 18% chance of a rainy day.
With an average annual snowfall of 39.4 inches, North Dakota is about average compared to other states in the United States. January is the snowiest month in North Dakota with 8.1 inches of snow, and 8 months of the year have significant snowfall.
Reviews for North Dakota
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I have lived in Bismarck for most of my life and I really do enjoy it. It does have its pitfalls being it does have very extremes when it comes to weather. Much of the  More

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Two thirds of the peope in Washington state are 24/7/365 indoor and outdoor wood burners. People have no hobbies, interests, commom sense, intelligence or compassion for  More

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Over 14 years ago

Out in the middle part of North Dakota roads are poorly maintained. I have seen numerous people miss up their alignment, hurt the bottom of their car, etc. due to  More

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