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Grand Forks sets record high Tuesday

Grand Forks set a record high Tuesday, and meteorologists say a warmer-than-normal fall is on the way as a hot and dry summer winds down.

The thermometer in Grand Forks hit 94 degrees Tuesday, breaking a 65-year-old record of 93 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The low for Tuesday was 54 degrees, much warmer than the 2007 record low of 33.

Tuesday was one of the hottest days of the year that has produced only four days above 90 degrees, according to weather service archives. The warmest day was June 2, when the weather service recorded 96 degrees.

The year in the Red River Valley has been warmer and drier than normal, according to a Tuesday climate briefing from the weather service. Every month in Grand Forks has trended at least 1 ½ degrees warmer than normal, with February's average temperature being almost 8 degrees above normal.

Rainfall for the summer also has been below average, according to the weather service. In total, Grand Forks is about 3 ½ inches below normal for precipitation this year, causing abnormally dry conditions, according to the weather service.

The good news is the dry summer has caused less severe weather, according to the climate briefing. The weather service in Grand Forks only issued 130 severe thunderstorm warnings, 39 tornado warnings and 10 flash flood warnings. Meteorologists said in its briefing the severe thunderstorm warnings count easily can be twice as much during busy years.

September, as well as the fall, is on track to be warmer than normal, meteorologists forecast. This month also will likely be drier than normal, though it's unclear if the fall will follow that trend.

September should bring cooler temperatures than the summer because it is considered a fall month, despite the fact that autumn doesn't officially begin until Sept. 22. The thermometer likely will drop at least 10 degrees by the end of the month, according to historic temperatures.

This week for Grand Forks already is on track to be cooler than Tuesday, according to the weather service. Thursday's high will linger around 80 degrees, but by the weekend, highs should drop into the mid-60s, meteorologists forecast. A chance of rain also is in the forecast almost every day this week in Grand Forks, with Friday producing an 80 percent chance, the weather service said.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers business and political stories. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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