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Rain falls below top projections

The rain Sunday across eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota mostly ended up being not as big and bad as the forecast allowed it could have been.


The rain Sunday across eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota mostly ended up being not as big and bad as the forecast allowed it could have been.

But it was enough to add to flooding problems in rural areas near Fargo and the southern end of the Red River Valley even as the Red River began a slight drop in Fargo.

The rain system had the potential to drop up to an inch across much of the southern Red River Valley, and up to 1.5 inch in some sites, said Bill Barrett, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. It included some thunder and hail in a place or two in southeast North Dakota and southeast of Moorhead toward Alexandria, Minn., he said.

Instead, most of the region received from near a half inch to about three-quarters of an inch, he said Sunday night.

Fargo received about 0.67 inch by the time the storm had moved into Minnesota, he said. Grand Forks received 0.38 inch at the International Airport and 0.46 inch in town at the UND reporting site by 4 p.m., after the rain had pretty much quit.


But east of East Grand Forks, amounts nearer 1 inch fell across a large area,, Barrett said.

"Bemidji had 1.01 inch," Barrett said. "At Red Lake Falls (Minn.), they had a little over an inch."

Thief River Falls received 0.75 inch and Detroit Lakes, Minn., received 0.78 inch.

Law enforcement agencies from Hillsboro north to Grand Forks, Grafton, N.D., Crookston and Thief River Falls reported no serious problems with water rising over roads in rural areas.

The bridge on Minnesota Highway 220 at Climax, Minn., was closed Sunday, as was the bridge across the Red River at Halstad, Minn.

The frost appears to be out of the soil in the Grand Forks area down to a depth of about 10 inches to 15 inches, with soil temperatures 32 degrees or higher, including a reading of 34 inches at an 8-inch depth, Barrett said. But at 20 inches below the surface, the temperature was 27 degrees Sunday, he said.

Farmers report that fields are totally saturated, however, with little or no room to hold any more water.

On Sunday, even the relatively modest rainfall appeared to end up largelyin ditches across Grand Forks County as they rose during the day with more running water.


Not much is expected this week for precipitation, except a couple chances for light rains that shouldn't add up to much,, Barrett said. But lLate next weekend, another significant storm might move in, but it's too early yet to know much about it, he said.

Otherwise, this week will allow for some drying, although it won't be ideal for that, with not a lot of sunshine or wind expected, Barrett said.

It will get up to near 60 degrees on Tuesday, which might be the warmest day of the week.

So far this year, Grand Forks has had below normal precipitation, with 1.94 inch received since Jan. 1, 0.89 inch below the 30-year norm for the period.

Fargo, however, has received 3.43 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1, 0.51 inch above normal.

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