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The climate of North Dakota (United States of America)
North Dakota is located in the northern part of the United States and borders Canada. The western half of North Dakota is part of the Great Plains which are a broad expanse of flat land stretching out from Canada to the Mexican border. The Great Plains mainly consist of steppe, prairie and grasslands and are situated directly east from the Rocky Mountains. A fair amount of Indian Reserves can be found on the Great Plains. Nowadays only a small percentage of the total population of North Dakota is Indian.

North Dakota has two climate types. Because precipitation figures determine the climate type classification the two climate types gradually change into each other. North Dakota has a moderate continental climate which is fairly erratic, both in weather conditions and in temperatures. The western part of the state has a cold steppe climate. This is mainly because annual precipitation figures remain below 500 millimeters. Because of the absence of a sea or ocean extremes in weather may occur here. Several natural phenomena occur here which are typical for the region, such as a downburst. A downburst is a strong ground-level wind system that emanates from a single source, blowing in a straight line in all directions from that source. Often producing damaging winds, it may be confused with a tornado, but is actually quite different: In a tornado, high velocity winds circle a central point, moving inward and upward whereas in a downburst, winds are directed downward and then outward from the surface landing point. There is also a risk of tornadoes in North Dakota as well as there is a risk of snowstorms (blizzards), heavy thunderstorms and straight-line winds which are also known as the hurricanes of the prairie. During the winter an Arctic current may cause extreme cold weather in North Dakota. Just like most places with a continental climate summers are warm to very warm. The climate of North Dakota is very erratic. Large changes in weather within a week’s time are not uncommon.

Climate information of places in North Dakota
The climate information given on this page is only brief. Specific information on weather and climate can be found on the pages per region or city. The following climate information is available for North Dakota:

Grand Forks



Climate information
Throughout North Dakota several climate figures and temperatures can be recorded. The figures below are for Bismarck and cannot be seen as an average for this state. For climate figures for other places and regions in North Dakota please, visit the individual climate pages.

temperature (°C)


temperature (°C)
hours of sunshine

average days with precipitation
per month
per month
temperature (°C)
January -7 -19 5 8 n/a
February -3 -15 6 7 n/a
March 4 -8 7 8 n/a
April 13 -1 8 9 n/a
May 20 6 10 10 n/a
June 25 11 11 11 n/a
July 29 14 11 9 n/a
August 28 12 10 8 n/a
September 22 6 8 7 n/a
October 15 0 6 5 n/a
November 4 -8 4 6 n/a
December -4 -16 4 8 n/a
= 0-5 mm ● = 6-30 mm ● = 31-60 mm ● = 61-100 mm ● = 101-200 mm ● = over 200 mm
= 0-0.2 inches ● = 0.2-1.2 inches ● = 1.2-2.4 inches ● = 2.5-4 inches ● = 4.1-8 inches ● = over 8 inches

More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time. How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate information per month. The figures below apply to Bismarck. For climate figures on specific regions and places please, visit the relevant individual climate pages

chance of
(very) hot


chance of
(very) cool
chance of

chance of
chance of
sunny days


click here for the explanation of the symbols

The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.


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