A quiet severe weather season
This year will go down as the calmest severe weather season since the National Weather Service office has been in Grand Forks. There were 145 severe weather reports for the weather service's warning area. Severe weather reports include tornado re...
This year will go down as the calmest severe weather season since the National Weather Service office has been in Grand Forks.
There were 145 severe weather reports for the weather service's warning area. Severe weather reports include tornado reports, hail three-quarters of an inch or larger and wind speeds of 58 mph or greater. The severe weather season generally runs April through September. The average number of reports since 1996 is 397.
The most significant event was the June 26 storm that hit the region. Warning sirens wailed for almost 90 minutes as the weather service recorded 11 funnel cloud sightings in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.
"After that, the last tornado warning we issued in North Dakota was June 27 in Towner County and, in Minnesota, July 14 for Grant County," said Jim Kaiser, meteorologist at the Grand Forks office. "The last severe thunderstorm warning for Grand Forks County was Aug. 14 and, in the state, Aug. 24 for Cavalier and Towner counties."
The main reason was a persistent flow of colder air from Canada that resulted in temperatures much below normal through the summer months. The colder air inhibited thunderstorm formation, especially those that require heat, moisture and instability to produce severe weather.
"The pattern wasn't so unusual but the extent that the period was so prolonged was very unusual," Kaiser said.
The most active severe weather season the past 13 years was 2001, when a whopping 705 severe weather reports occurred.
The next weather system to affect North Dakota will be buffered by northerly winds. The weather service said the atmosphere will cool enough to bring an inch or 2 of snow to southern North Dakota tonight and Monday.
The Grand Forks forecast calls for rain Monday afternoon into Tuesday of about a quarter-inch. High temperatures should reach near 50 degrees with lows near 40 degrees. Partly sunny skies should return Wednesday with a high of 59.
Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1262; (800) 477-6572, ext. 262; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .