John Wheeler: Same old thing; it gets colder then it warms up
Weather is always changing from one side of average to the other.
FARGO — It is going to be getting much colder tomorrow. As is typical, our weather gets cold for a while and then it warms up again, or it snows a lot and there is a flood before the weather goes dry. Back, forth, up, down; weather is always changing from one side of average to the other. This can happen on a time scale of a few days, but it can also happen on a time scale of weeks, months, years, and longer.
There is a general misconception that these ups and downs balance out over time, but they do not. Long-term weather records show that weather is distinctly non-linear. Over short and long periods of time, such as days and weeks or decades and centuries, the warm spells do not completely balance out the cool spells. Likewise, the wet cycles do not balance out the droughts. This means that our concept of “average” is of limited usefulness.