Dry Conditions Persist Despite Recent Rainfall

A lack of significant winter and spring precipitation in parts of the Red River Valley and Devils Lake area are a growing cause for concern. Adding to that is the cold temperatures this spring, meaning that the soil has been slow to warm up, delaying germination in some areas. Dry soil may be an issue as well on our windier days, as blowing dust can cause local travel problems.

Below is the latest Water Resources and Drought Outlook from your Grand Forks National Weather Service.

...WATER RESOURCES STATEMENT AND OUTLOOK...

THIS OUTLOOK COVERS THE GRAND FORKS HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA...HSA...WHICH ENCOMPASSES 35 COUNTIES ACROSS EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA AND NORTHWESTERN MINNESOTA. THE PRIMARY RIVER BASINS ARE THE RED RIVER OF THE NORTH...RED LAKE AND SHEYENNE RIVERS AND THEIR
TRIBUTARIES. MAJOR LAKE BASINS INCLUDE DEVILS LAKE...THE UPPER AND LOWER RED LAKES AS WELL AS PORTIONS OF LAKE OF THE WOODS.

...DRY NORTH AND WEST TO WET SOUTH AND EAST...

.SYNOPSIS...
THERE HAS BEEN TREMENDOUS VARIABILITY IN THE RECENT WEATHER ACROSS THE GRAND FORKS HSA. CONDITIONS RANGE FROM DROUGHT TO ABOVE NORMAL MOISTURE. TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN BELOW NORMAL. A WEAKENING LA NINA HAS IMPACTED THE REGIONS WEATHER THIS WINTER AND SPRING...WITH ITS INFLUENCE LIKELY TO LINGER SOME INTO THE SUMMER SEASON.

.LOCAL AREA AFFECTED...
THE DEVILS LAKE AND NORTHERN RED RIVER VALLEY ARE THE DRIEST WITH THE SOUTHERN VALLEY AND WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA LAKES COUNTRY WETTEST. MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT COVERS THE TOWNER AND RAMSEY COUNTY AREAS...WITH MOST OF THE REMAINDER OF EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA LISTED AS ABNORMALLY DRY. ACROSS MINNESOTA...THE NORTHWEST CORNER
IS CONSIDERED ABNORMALLY DRY. THESE AREAS ARE NORTH AND WEST OF A LINE FROM EAST GRAND FORKS TO THIEF RIVER FALLS AND WARROAD. SMALL PARTS OF SOUTHEAST NORTH DAKOTA AND THE WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA LAKES COUNTRY ARE ALSO DRY...BUT MOST AREAS RECEIVED HEAVY APRIL RAIN AND SNOW THAT HELPED ALLEVIATE THE DRY CONDITIONS.

.CLIMATE SUMMARY...
THERE HAS BEEN TREMENDOUS VARIABILITY ACROSS THE GRAND FORKS HSA THE PAST TWO MONTHS. THE SOUTHERN RED RIVER VALLEY AND ADJACENT LAKES COUNTRY HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY WET...WHILE THE NORTHERN RED RIVER AND DEVILS LAKE BASINS HAVE BEEN DRY. TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN 4 TO 8 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL SINCE MID MARCH WITH THE COLDEST TEMPERATURES IN THE WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA LAKES COUNTRY. ALTHOUGH SNOWFALL WAS NEAR NORMAL IN THE DEVILS LAKE BASIN...THE WATER CONTENT WAS ABOUT HALF OF AVERAGE. TO THE SOUTH AND EAST...EXCESSIVE APRIL SNOWFALL HAS ALL BUT ERADICATED THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS FROM EXTREME SOUTHEAST NORTH DAKOTA INTO WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA.

.SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT...
PRELIMINARY INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE HIGHEST AVAILABLE DEEP SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT WAS IN THE FAR SOUTHERN RED RIVER VALLEY FROM THE DAKOTAS BORDER TO THE FARGO/MOORHEAD AREA...THEN NORTHEAST THROUGH THE DETROIT LAKES...FERGUS FALLS AREAS. THE DRIEST CONDITIONS WERE IN THE CENTRAL AND NORTHERN RED RIVER VALLEY AND DEVILS LAKE REGION. ISOLATED DRY CONDITIONS ALSO EXIST IN THE WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA LAKES COUNTRY AROUND ELBOW LAKE AND FERGUS FALLS. RECENT RAINFALL HAS HELPED IMPROVE THE TOP SOIL CONDITIONS OVER THE CENTRAL AND NORTHERN RED RIVER VALLEY...YET IS STILL QUITE DRY OVERALL.

.RIVER AND STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS...
A WIDE VARIETY OF STREAM FLOW CONDITIONS EXIST ON THE MAIN STEM RED RIVER. TRIBUTARIES ON EITHER SIDE ARE GENERALLY LESS THAN 50 PERCENT OF NORMAL FLOWS. SOME LOCATIONS WERE EXPERIENCING VERY LOW FLOWS...SUCH AS THE MAPLE RIVER NEAR HOPE AT ONLY 8 PERCENT OF NORMAL AND THE THIEF RIVER NEAR THIEF RIVER FALLS AT ONLY 19 PERCENT OF NORMAL. DUE TO THE RELATIVELY LIGHT WINTER PRECIPITATION AND EXTENDED MELT...VERY LITTLE FLOODING OCCURRED DURING THE 2008 SPRING.

BELOW ARE SOME CURRENT AND NORMAL STREAMFLOWS FOR 7AM CDT THURSDAY MAY 15. THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED COURTESY OF THE USGS.

STATION               CURRENT     MEAN          PERCENT OF MEAN
                      FLOW CFS    FLOW CFS      OF MEAN
WAHPETON ND           1538        1350           114
FARGO ND              2560        1180           216
HALSTAD MN            3520        4070            86
EAST GRAND FORKS MN   5350        5820            91
DRAYTON ND            6040        9560            63
PEMBINA ND            6720       17160            39

.PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
THE OUTLOOK THROUGH THE END OF MAY IS FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE NORTHERN PLAINS. A PREDOMINANT NORTHWEST FLOW IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE BRINGING UNSEASONALLY COLD AIR INTO THE REGION. WHILE THERE WILL BE SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS...MOST AREAS WILL EXPERIENCE BELOW AVERAGE RAINFALL THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

THE OUTLOOK FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS OF JUNE...JULY AND AUGUST IS FOR NORMAL CLIMATIC VARIABILITY IN TEMPERATURE. THERE WILL BE A TENDENCY FOR BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES THROUGH MUCH OF THE SUMMER SEASON.

THERE IS A BETTER THAN AVERAGE LIKELIHOOD FOR BELOW AVERAGE RAINFALL DURING JUNE...JULY AND AUGUST. AS A RESULT OF THE PREDICTED WEATHER CONDITIONS THIS SUMMER...LITTLE IMPROVEMENT IS EXPECTED IN THE OVERALL DRY CONDITIONS IN THE GRAND
FORKS HSA. YOUR NWS WILL MONITOR THE CONDITIONS AND ISSUE UPDATES AS NEEDED.

.QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS DROUGHT INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT...

MARK EWENS
DROUGHT FOCAL POINT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
GRAND FORKS ND 58201
TELEPHONE 701.772.0720 X327
MARK.EWENS@NOAA.GOV

.RELATED WEB SITES...
LOCAL AND NATIONAL WEATHER...CLIMATE AND WATER INFORMATION...
LOCAL NWS SITE
WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/FGF ALL LOWER CASE

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...
THESE WEB SITES ARE PROVIDED FOR REFERENCE AND INFORMATION. YOUR
NOAAS NWS MAKES NO CLAIMS TO THE CONTENT OF NON NOAA WEB SITES.

UNITES STATES GEOLOGIC SURVEY
USGS HTTP://WATER.USGS.GOV

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
USACE HTTP://WWW.MVR.USACE.ARMY.MIL

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/INDEX.HTML

.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING NOAAS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER...THE
USDA...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTER CLIMATOLOGISTS AND THE NATIONAL
DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER. INFORMATION FOR THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN
GATHERED FROM NWS AND FAA OBSERVATION SITES...STATE COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICES...THE USDA...USACE AND USGS.

.NEXT ISSUANCE...
THE NEXT SCHEDULED ISSUANCE OF THE WATER RESOURCES STATEMENT AND OUTLOOK WILL BE AROUND JUNE 19TH 2008 UNLESS CONDITIONS WARRANT.

AS A REMINDER...STARTING ON JUNE 10 2008...THE WATER RESOURCES AND DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED USING THE COMMUNICATIONS HEADER BISDGTFGF. THE WMO HEADER WILL BE AXUS73 KFGF.


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