The unseasonably warm weather that moved into the upper Red River Valley in the last few days will likely stick around for the coming week, with temperatures in the upper 80s that could break into the 90s.

According to WDAY StormTracker Meteorologist Andrew Whitmyer, the high temperature for Sunday, June 6, will top out somewhere between the mid- and high 80s, depending on whether or not a “cool” front decides to carry over the region. That front, Whitmyer said, will move across the region from Saturday evening and into Sunday.

“Right now I've got Grand Forks right at the play-zone here, if the front stalls out an hour or two we can quickly get up into the upper 80s,” Whitmyer said. “If that cool front wants to work its way through faster, we'll likely see those temperatures only making it up into about the lower 80s for (Sunday) afternoon.”

Temps in the 80s would offer a bit of relief from recent scorching temperatures that burned a local record. Whitmyer said the temperature in Grand Forks reached 103 degrees on Friday, June 4, a record for the day, and also the first time the city has seen a temperature more than 100 degrees since August 1989. Fargo also set a record that day when the temperature climbed over 100 degrees, and much of the region saw the same.

Lisa Smith scoops ice into buckets filled with beer prior to the World of Outlaws event at River Cities Speedway on Friday, June 4, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
Lisa Smith scoops ice into buckets filled with beer prior to the World of Outlaws event at River Cities Speedway on Friday, June 4, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks HeraldNick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

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On Saturday, Grand Forks sat in the same boat as other cities in the region, with temperatures uniformly in the mid- to upper 90s. Devils Lake was forecast to hit 95 degrees, though Grand Forks was expected to beat the temperature by 2 degrees. In Minnesota, Hallock, Thief River Falls and Crookston were looking at 95, 94 and 96 degrees respectively.

Much of Grand Forks County is experiencing either moderate or severe drought conditions, which contribute to such high temperatures. According to Whitmyer, the dry soil soaks up the sunshine creating friction at the surface, and making afternoons hotter than usual. As for that drought, Whitmyer said it would take “several waves” of thunderstorms to camp out over the region for a few days, and then come back periodically after that.

“It's easy to get into a drought and it's just as easy to get back out of a drought,” he said. “We can easily get back out of this drought situation if we can get these timely rain showers and thunderstorms, but again, timing is the key.”

Whitmyer said the next best chance for rain falls on next Friday and Saturday.