Preliminary Summer 2008 Climate Summary

On balance the meteorological summer of  2008 was pretty close to normal across the Devils Lake Basin, Red River Valley and lakes country of north western Minnesota. As is the case with summer precipitation, dramatic variability was the rule this summer season. Portions of the far southern Red River Valley received excessive rainfall, resulting in localized flooding; while portions of the Minnesota Lakes country and northeast North Dakota were drier than normal. The driest areas are the upper Devils lake basin and from Wadena up through the Bemidji area.

Total rainfall for the 3 months in the Fargo area 12.39 was 3.48 inches above the long term normal. At the University of North Dakota/NWS climate station the total was 9.32 inches. This is just 0.37 inches above the long term summer average of 8.95 inches. The higher amount in the Fargo area is representative of a trend that began this past spring with heavier precipitation, on balance, in the southern third of the Red River Valley.

As a result of the precipitation pattern, portions of east central and northeast North Dakota, and portions of western Minnesota are considered abnormall dry.

Temperatures were on balance within 2 degrees of the long term average. What is interesting, is the fact that the warmer temperatures were across the wetter, southern areas.  What is most telling is the lack of significant, sustained heat in the region. None of the official reporting points in the Grand Forks area of responsibility exceeded 100 degrees this past summer. Fargo and Grand Forks were well below the average number of days with maximum temperatures at or above 90 degrees as well.

Remember, these data are preliminary and based on raw data. Official and final data wil be made available from the National Climate Data Center in Asheville NC later this year. For more information, please contact the National Weather Servcie in Grand Forks at 701.772.0720 or Mark Ewens, Data Acquisition Program Manager at

Return to News Archive is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.