By Frank Turner
Lately, the forecast for the entire southwest region of North Dakota has been nothing but rain, rain, and more rain. For the last 30 days, large portions of Adams County, Bowman County, and Hettinger County have experienced 2 to 3 times more precipitation than historical averages.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Patrick Ayd said that he expects the rainy trend to continue in the short term.
The rain the region has been experiencing for the past two to four weeks may continue into the end of September but eventually dry out, he said.
Although farmers and producers may be dreading more rain, the meteorologist said the abnormally high rainfall is likely only temporary.
“We’ve had a pattern… that’s been moving moisture from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the Northern Plains,” said Ayd. “It’s been quite humid the last couple of days across the region, which makes it feel more like July.”
Although the weather has been unexpectedly warm, the meteorologist assured the public that autumn is coming.
Looking into October, Ayd said that conditions do not favor any extreme conditions and people should expect weather trends to return to normal.
The current October outlook calls for average rainfall with a small chance of above average temperatures.
“Looking at the data, there really is not a clear signal that we are going to have above or below normal for precipitation and temperature,” he said. “The outlook favors being closer to normal for our weather in October.”
So what is normal for October? Early in the month, the historic data shows average highs in the 60’s and lows in the 30’s. By the end of the month, the averages drop to highs in the 40’s and lows in the 20’s.
According to historical averages, the rain should slow down. October’s historic average precipitation in the region totals 1.25 inches for the month. The meteorologist said that people should be expecting a frost eventually, and the first snow may be in October.
“There has been a few patches of frost, but we haven’t had a big, widespread frost event just yet,” he said. “Usually we see our first frost in mid-September, but we have been anomalously warm the past couple of weeks. Frost doesn’t look immanent, so our first widespread frost may come later than normal.”