North Dakota’s Latest Drought Monitor Shows Big Improvement
It was good to see and hear some lightning and thunder over the weekend. Although we picked up very little rain on Saturday and Sunday, it appears the Bismarck bubble has loosened its hold over Bismarck Mandan.
More significant precipitation is expected today over the area where we could see anywhere between a half and an inch of rain. A Wind Advisory is also been issued over the area starting at 1 pm until 10 pm tonight. Wind gusts could go as high as 45 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service recently released the latest drought monitor and there is a major improvement over the entire state. Only the extreme western counties over North Dakota are considered to be in drought conditions. Only parts of four counties are considered to be in a moderate drought. They include Divide, Williams, McKenzie, and a small part of Golden Valley. No areas of the state are considered to be in an extreme or exceptional drought. This is a BIG change from the summer of 2021.
All of Burleigh County is no longer considered to be in drought conditions. Same with eastern Morton County and the western side is considered abnormally dry. Again, a very big improvement over the last two years.
According to the National Weather Service, May is favored for below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation across North Dakota, with this week looking like the return of a more active pattern like we saw in April. There is uncertainty in how the second half of the month will evolve, with no strong signals in guidance for this period, and there is potential for a quick transition to much warmer temperatures than we’ve been seeing lately.
The summer is favored to be hotter and drier than normal, which could lead to drought conditions returning in some areas. In the summer, it can be especially difficult to summarize the drought conditions over large areas, precipitation leads to some areas getting heavy rain and other areas nearby getting nothing. As we get further into the fall season, there are equal chances for above, near, or below normal temperature and precipitation, with a chance for the third La Niña in a row.
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