Cold weather is expected during a Northern Plains winter. In some years, truly extreme cold is fleeting and manageable, but most winters there is enough cold weather for it to become tiresome. Since Fargo-Moorhead records began in 1881, the longest and most difficult cold spell was in January and February of 1936. Here in Fargo Moorhead, there were 44 consecutive days in which the daily low temperature was 0 degrees or colder. During this run, there were 23 daily lows of -20 degrees or lower, and eight daily lows -30 or lower.

Even more remarkable and miserable was that for 37 consecutive days, from January 15 through February 20, the temperature failed to rise above zero at all, even in the daytime. The North Dakota state record low temperature of -60 degrees was set in Parshall on February 15. The coldest in Fargo-Moorhead that winter was -37 degrees.