Mandan News

North Dakota’s weather

By Dustin White
Mandan News, editor

North Dakota is the only state that has not warmed up since 1984. At least that is what a report by the Associated Press stated a recently. Not everyone agrees with the results though, including North Dakota’s state climatologist and associate professor of climatological practices at the North Dakota State University, Adnan Akyuz.

“The study has several flaws,” Akyuz said. “Average temperatures for North Dakota vary a great deal with no discernible pattern. The AP science writer used a linear fit that produced the least amount of differences between the observation and the estimation.”

As climatologists use a 30-year averaging to compare individuals years, the information can be useful to determine if specific years are outside the realms of what is normal. However, the problem lies in that this normal is only updated once per decade.

The purpose of updating the normal on this time frame is to keep a sort of consistency.

“If we updated the normal every year, we would have different normals every year, which would make comparisons of departure from normal across the nation very challenging,” Akyuz said.
Using a short-term temperature trend then can lead to a skewed view of the actual long term trend the state is seeing.

“The trend of the last 30 years is highly susceptible to the state’s severe annual temperature swings from warm to cold,” Akyuz said.