Freezing in the Frozen North

The thing is, it’s actually not always cold in North Dakota.

I generally have to explain this to people who aren’t from the middle part of the continent, because their mental image of North Dakota usually comes from “Fargo.” Which mostly took place in Minnesota anyway.

Neither state is a desolate barren wasteland filled with snow in the summer. In fact, because we don’t get any mediating effect from water bodies it can get unbearably, painfully hot in Minnesota and in North Dakota.

Normally it’s not too bad, but there’s almost always one week where the heat reaches unbearable levels, and reporters start calling hospitals to see if anyone has keeled over from the heat, interviewing doctors to find out what people should do and chatting with vets to find out what humans can do for their pets. And we have pretty high humidity, too, so even breathing becomes a serious effort.

This week of punishing heat often hits about now, toward the middle or end of August.

Except today is Aug. 25, and it’s chilly enough out right now to warrant a hoodie or a light jacket. And the low for today is 44 degrees, if you can believe that! Somehow we’ve skipped right over September and gone right to October, as far as weather goes.

I don’t know why I didn’t wear a sweater today. More importantly, I don’t know how I’m going to explain this one to the out-of-towners.

“It’s not always cold in North Dakota! In the summer, it’s… okay, actually it can get really really cold in the summer here too. … why are you walking away, I thought you were interested in living in North Dakota! They hand out free parkas at the border! Come on! Awww…”

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