Late-week showers brought some much-needed moisture to the region, but Grand Forks likely won't see any rain again for a while, WDAY StormTracker meteorologist Lydia Blume said.
Grand Forks got an estimated 0.73 inches and the Grand Forks airport got about 0.72 inches of rain on Thursday, Sept. 2, Blume said. Galesburg, N.D., got the most rain in the region, at about 3.82 inches.
Although the rain was certainly welcome, it's hard to say how much it actually helped the drought, Blume said.
"It obviously is beneficial for soil moisture and replenishing soil moisture, because we were about a foot behind in the moisture department since last September," she said. "So this is obviously helping, but we are still overall dry, and we're still overall in a drought."
She added that as the fall transitional period approaches, and with the end of summer thunderstorm season, this week's rain is likely too little, too late for many of this year's crops.
"This is good to replenish soil moisture, but it might be too late for a lot of this year's crops, like corn. It's not really going to help it all that much," she said. "But the better soil moisture we can set up going into the spring next year will be really beneficial. So this is helping at least next year's crop, if not this year's crop."
The remainder of the 10-day forecast is largely dry, with the exception of a few very minor isolated showers in the area Friday night, Sept. 3, Blume said. And, according to WDAY, partly cloudy skies will be the theme for Labor Day weekend, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s.
It's not uncommon to have a dry stretch in September, Blume said, but the fall transitional period can be unpredictable. She expects 80-degree days will be over, and cooler temperatures will set in by mid- to late September.
It's still impossible to say when the drought might let up, she said. The region has now been in a drought for about a year.
"Droughts can last 10 years, you know, like the Dirty '30s," she said. "You don't know that you're out of a drought until after it's ended, when you finally see moisture levels catch up and you just start adding more moisture regularly. It's kind of the same going into a drought -- you don't really know you're in a drought until a few months into it, and then you realize how the pattern has shifted. ... Hopefully we're moving in the right direction, and of course the past two weeks have been very beneficial to help us move in that right direction, but we're not out of the woods just yet."