Based on the preliminary data collected in the Fargo and Grand Forks areas, the month of July was colder than normal month across the Red River Valley region, with the coldest temperatures over the northern valley. Precipitation was quite variable, with some locations experiencing heavy rains, and many areas remaining quite dry. In the Fargo area, the average temperature of 70.3 degrees was only 0.3 degrees below the long term average. In Grand Forks, at the University of North Dakota/NWS Climate station, the average temperature was 68.2 degrees, which was 1.8 degrees below average. At the Grand Forks Airport, it was a tad cooler than in town at 67.5 degrees, or 1.9 degrees below average.
Based on preliminary data supplied by the NWS Cooperative Observers and NDSU Agricultural Weather Network, the coldest average temperatures were nearly coincident with the areas of greatest rainfalls, especially over northwest Minnesota.
Precipitation was above average in the Grand Forks area, and below average in the Fargo area. There was quite a bit of variability to the precipitation coverage, which is typical in thunderstorms. For example, at the Grand Forks Airport the July total rainfall was 4.21 inches while in town at the UND/NWS location there was 3.45 inches total. These rain totals were 1.15 inches above and 0.60 inches above, respectively for the Airport and UND locations. In Fargo, the total for July was 1.78 inches which is 1.10 inches below the average.
It is important to note that while many areas received above normal rainfall, it often came in the form of very heavy rains, which fell in a short period of time. As a result, much of the precipitation was not fully absorbed but ran-off into area drainage systems. Therefore, some area crops are becoming stressed due a general lack of timely rainfall.
Based on RADAR and preliminary rainfall data, rainfall totals were the highest from the Detroit Lakes area northwest through Ada Minnesota, on through Mayville and the Devils Lake area. Another area of above normal rainfall was from the Warroad and Roseau areas of northwest Minensota along the Canadian Border into the northeast corner of North Dakota. This is also based on preliminary data supplied by the NWS Cooperative Observers and NDSU Agricultural Weather Network.
Please remember these data are preliminary, and subject to change. The National Climate Data Center will issue the final data later this year. For more information visit the National Weather Service in Grand Forks Climate web site by clicking here. Or contact Mark Ewens, Climate Services Focal Point at Mark.Ewens@noaa.gov