North Dakota lies in the northwestern continental interior of the US. Characteristically, summers are hot, winters very cold, and rainfall sparse to moderate, with periods of drought. The average annual temperature is 40°F (4°C), ranging from 7°F (-14°C) in January to 69°F (21°C) in July. The record low temperature, -60°F (-51°C), was set at Parshall on 15 February 1936; the record high, 121°F (49°C), at Steele on 6 July 1936.
The average yearly precipitation (1971–2000) was about 16.8 in (42.7 cm) at Bismarck. The total annual snowfall averages 44 in (112 cm) at Bismarck.