North Dakota Weather by Month

North Dakota, located in the northern Great Plains region of the United States, is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south, and Montana to the west. It became the 39th state on November 2, 1889. North Dakota’s history is deeply rooted in Native American cultures, particularly the Lakota Sioux, Mandan, and Hidatsa tribes, and later shaped by European fur traders, settlers, and the railroad boom of the late 19th century. Major cities include Fargo (the largest city), Bismarck (the capital), Grand Forks, Minot, and West Fargo. Iconic landmarks encompass Theodore Roosevelt National Park, honoring the legacy of the 26th U.S. President and his conservation efforts, the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, and Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. North Dakota’s economy is largely driven by agriculture, energy production, manufacturing, and technology, with the state being a leading producer of wheat, barley, and oil in the nation.

Weather Overview:

North Dakota experiences a continental climate, characterized by cold winters and warm summers, with low humidity and relatively low precipitation.

Month Average Temperature (°F) Average Precipitation (inches)
January 10.7 0.52
February 16.5 0.55
March 28.9 0.98
April 44.9 1.31
May 56.8 2.25
June 66.5 2.78
July 71.9 2.22
August 70.2 1.65
September 59.1 1.42
October 45.2 1.08
November 27.3 0.65
December 14.0 0.48

January

January in North Dakota brings the height of winter, with bitterly cold temperatures and frequent snowfall. Average high temperatures across the state range from the single digits to the teens Fahrenheit (-9 to -7°C), while average low temperatures can plunge well below zero Fahrenheit (-20 to -10°C). Wind chill factors can make temperatures feel even colder, especially in the open prairie regions where gusty winds are common. Snowstorms are frequent during January, covering the landscape in a blanket of white and creating ideal conditions for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Visitors to North Dakota in January should come prepared with warm clothing, including heavy coats, hats, gloves, and insulated boots, and should exercise caution when traveling in snowy and icy conditions.

February

February in North Dakota continues the trend of cold temperatures and snowy conditions, although there may be occasional thaws during milder spells. Average high temperatures range from the teens to the mid-20s Fahrenheit (-9 to -4°C), while average lows remain well below freezing. Snowfall is still common throughout the month, with accumulations adding to the winter landscape. Outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and sledding are popular during February, offering opportunities for visitors to embrace the winter season. Despite the cold weather, February can be a beautiful time to explore North Dakota’s natural wonders, from the rugged Badlands to the frozen lakes and rivers. Visitors should continue to dress warmly and be mindful of hazardous driving conditions caused by snow and ice.

March

March in North Dakota marks the transition from winter to spring, although winter weather can persist well into the month, especially in the northern regions. Average high temperatures begin to climb slightly, ranging from the mid-20s to low 30s Fahrenheit (-4 to -1°C), while average lows remain below freezing. Snowfall is still possible, particularly in the early part of the month, but temperatures gradually start to moderate as spring approaches. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and wildlife viewing in March, as well as the opportunity to witness the first signs of spring emerging in the landscape. Visitors should be prepared for fluctuating weather conditions during March, including the possibility of snowstorms followed by warmer temperatures that can lead to melting snow and muddy trails.

April

April in North Dakota brings the promise of spring, with gradually warming temperatures and the onset of melting snow. Average high temperatures range from the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (7 to 11°C), while average lows hover around freezing. Snowfall becomes less frequent as the month progresses, although occasional snow showers may still occur, particularly in the northern regions. April is a transitional month in North Dakota, with landscapes transforming from winter white to vibrant shades of green as grasses and trees begin to emerge from dormancy. Outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and photography are popular during April, offering opportunities to explore the state’s natural beauty as it awakens from winter. Visitors should be prepared for variable weather conditions during April, including sudden changes in temperature and the possibility of wet and muddy trails due to melting snow and spring rain showers.

May

May in North Dakota marks the arrival of spring in full force, with warmer temperatures and longer days. Average high temperatures range from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (18 to 22°C), while average lows range from the mid-30s to low 40s Fahrenheit (2 to 6°C). Snow is rare during May, although occasional late-season snow showers may occur in the northern regions. The landscape bursts into bloom during May, with wildflowers carpeting the prairies and trees leafing out in shades of green. Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing are popular during May, offering opportunities to explore North Dakota’s natural wonders in the pleasant spring weather. Visitors can also enjoy cultural events and festivals celebrating the arrival of spring, as well as the opportunity to observe wildlife such as birds, bison, and elk in their natural habitats.

June

June in North Dakota brings the onset of summer, with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Average high temperatures range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (24 to 28°C), while average lows range from the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (7 to 11°C). June is one of the best times to visit North Dakota for outdoor adventures, with long days providing ample opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring the state’s scenic landscapes. Popular destinations include Theodore Roosevelt National Park, with its rugged Badlands terrain, and Lake Sakakawea, a popular spot for fishing, boating, and water sports. June is also a great time to experience North Dakota’s rich cultural heritage, with events such as powwows, rodeos, and music festivals taking place across the state. Visitors should come prepared for warm weather during June and stay hydrated while enjoying outdoor activities.

July

July in North Dakota brings hot temperatures and the peak of summer heat across the state. Average high temperatures range from the high 70s to low 90s Fahrenheit (25 to 33°C), while average lows range from the mid-50s to low 60s Fahrenheit (13 to 16°C). July is the perfect time for outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, and camping, with lakes, rivers, and parks offering refreshing escapes from the heat. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines in Lake Sakakawea or the Missouri River, while hikers can explore trails in national and state parks like Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. July is also a popular time for cultural events and festivals celebrating North Dakota’s heritage, including Native American powwows, county fairs, and Fourth of July celebrations. Visitors should take precautions to stay cool and hydrated during July, especially when spending time outdoors in the sun.

August

August in North Dakota continues the trend of hot temperatures and summer heat, making it the perfect time for outdoor adventures and summer vacations. Average high temperatures range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (24 to 28°C), while average lows range from the mid-50s to low 60s Fahrenheit (13 to 16°C). August is an ideal time for water-based activities such as swimming, boating, and fishing, with lakes, rivers, and reservoirs providing refreshing escapes from the heat. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore hiking trails in national and state parks like Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Sheyenne National Grassland, or take scenic drives along routes like the Enchanted Highway and the Turtle Mountains Scenic Byway. August is also a great time to experience North Dakota’s cultural events and festivals, including state fairs, music festivals, and agricultural celebrations. Visitors should continue to take precautions to stay cool and hydrated during August, especially when spending time outdoors in the sun.

September

September in North Dakota marks the transition from summer to fall, with gradually cooling temperatures and the onset of autumn colors in the northern regions. Average high temperatures range from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (18 to 22°C), while average lows range from the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (7 to 11°C). September is a beautiful time to visit North Dakota for outdoor adventures, with mild weather and changing landscapes creating ideal conditions for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Popular destinations for fall foliage include the Turtle Mountains, Pembina Gorge, and the Sheyenne River Valley, where trees transform into vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold. September is also a great time to experience cultural events and festivals celebrating the harvest season, including agricultural fairs, pumpkin festivals, and Oktoberfest celebrations. Visitors should come prepared for variable weather conditions during September, including cooler temperatures and the possibility of rain showers.

October

October in North Dakota brings cooler temperatures and vibrant fall foliage, making it one of the best times to visit the state for outdoor adventures and leaf-peeping. Average high temperatures range from the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (7 to 11°C), while average lows range from the mid-20s to low 30s Fahrenheit (-4 to -1°C). Fall foliage peaks in places like the Turtle Mountains, Pembina Gorge, and the Sheyenne River Valley, creating stunning displays of red, orange, and yellow against the backdrop of the landscape. October is an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and exploring scenic drives in destinations like the Sheyenne National Grassland and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. Visitors can also enjoy cultural events and festivals celebrating the arrival of fall, including harvest festivals, corn mazes, and haunted attractions. Visitors should come prepared for cooler temperatures during October and dress warmly for outdoor activities.

November

November in North Dakota brings cooler temperatures and the onset of winter weather, although conditions can vary significantly between regions. Average high temperatures range from the mid-30s to low 40s Fahrenheit (1 to 5°C), while average lows range from the mid-teens to low 20s Fahrenheit (-9 to -6°C). Fall foliage fades away, making way for the quieter landscapes of late autumn. November is an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and photography before the arrival of winter weather. In the northern part of the state, cities like Minot and Fargo may start to see snowfall, creating ideal conditions for winter sports like skiing and snowmobiling. Visitors should come prepared for colder temperatures during November and be mindful of changing weather conditions, including the possibility of snow and ice.

December

December in North Dakota brings cold temperatures and frequent snowfall, particularly in the northern regions and higher elevations. Average high temperatures range from the mid-teens to low 20s Fahrenheit (-9 to -6°C), while average lows range from below zero to the mid-teens Fahrenheit (-20 to -9°C). Snowfall is common, especially in the northern part of the state, creating ideal conditions for winter sports enthusiasts. Ski resorts like Bottineau Winter Park and Frost Fire Park are in full swing during December, offering opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. December is also a great time to experience North Dakota’s winter wonderland, with activities such as sledding, ice fishing, and sleigh rides available for visitors to enjoy. Visitors should come prepared for cold temperatures and snowy conditions during December, and be cautious when traveling in winter weather.