Country singer/songwriter Keith Whitley recorded a fantastic song titled "I'm No Stranger To The Rain".  North Dakota can tell you that we're no stranger to the drought.

For all Whitley fans- here's a YouTube link to listen to the song.  You know you want to...just come back when it's finished.

Back in December of 2020 I talked about how golf driving ranges were still open in Bismarck...

With temperatures projected to remain the the mid to upper 40s through mid-December, the good folks at Riverwood Golf Course in Bismarck have decided to keep the driving range open until Mother Nature tells us to come in for supper. 

Where that seemed fun for was just a continuation of what would be a disastrous cycle for North Dakota's farm and ranch producers.

Less snow means less shoveling and leaving the snowblower idle for the season. It also means less moisture, not just on your sidewalk, but all across the prairies.  According to ND State Climatologist Adnan Akyuz it was the 15th warmest winter on record. Warm ground temperatures mean evaporation, and spring would prove to be pretty warm as well. Let's take a look at that current ND map again from Drought Monitor.

attachment-ND Drought US Drought Monitor

The tan is moderate drought.  The orange is severe drought.  The red is extreme drought. The brown is exceptional drought.

Exceptional and heading historical.  Back to climatologist Akyuz...

What North Dakota needs to exit the drought is a higher frequency of rain along with cooler-than-normal conditions, Akyuz said. A couple rain events a week totaling about one-fourth to one-half inch of precipitation is preferable. At the very least, it would help mitigate the effects of the current drought on the next growing season.

Here we are hoping to mitigate effects on next year.

For many, this year is simply a disaster.

This past Friday, AP News reported Governor Burgum issued an emergency order...

Gov. Doug Burgum has signed an order aimed at helping livestock producers battle extreme drought conditions across North Dakota.

The order waives hours of service restrictions for drivers of commercial vehicles that are transporting hay, water and livestock.

Producers have been forced to sell off parts of their herds or supplement their supplies because they’re running short on water and feed.


Monday’s Crop Progress report rated North Dakota topsoil moisture supplies 53% very short, 39% short, 8% adequate, and 0% surplus. 

The areas of exceptional drought continue to increase.  Will the hope/promise of precipitation later this week lessen the impact of the historic drought cycle?

Well, maybe if it's a good rain, and then that pattern consistently sustains through the fall and winter, we may have a spring that producers could plant some seeds with hope/promise in 2022.

But for now...

91% of the state is in severe, extreme or exceptional drought

Historical indeed.

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