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Rain takes edge off drought across region

Rain-dampened weather--and even some snow--over the past few days have sparked an explosion of green in cities and in farm fields throughout the Red River Valley and beyond.

Maria LeBlanc and her dog, Lacey, dodge a puddle on a walk along University Ave. Monday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Rain-dampened weather-and even some snow-over the past few days have sparked an explosion of green in cities and in farm fields throughout the Red River Valley and beyond.

But while the rainfall so far this month has been just about normal for May, at least in the Grand Forks area, it has not helped to replenish the soil from the effects of drought conditions that have persisted over the past seven months.

"We're still running almost 50 percent of normal for this time of year," Bill Barrett, hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, said Monday. "It'll help the drought, but not a lot, at least not yet."

Grand Forks received 0.42 inches of rain in a 24-hour period Sunday and Monday, and a total of 0.65 inch since Friday. Rainfall in May has totaled 0.82 of an inch.

The Fargo area received 1.61 inches of precipitation between Saturday night and noon Monday.


A weekend snowstorm that dumped as much as 19 inches of snow on parts of the Black Hills area of South Dakota, extended into southcentral and southeastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.

Parts of Barnes County, near Valley City, N.D., received more than 3 inches of precipitation, including a mix of rain and snow, while Carrington, N.D., reported more than 2.3 inches, according to unofficial reports.

Snowflakes were observed Monday morning as far north as Hillsboro, N.D., and Mayville, N.D., according to Barrett.

In Norman County, Minn., east of Hillsboro, the weather service received a report of 1.17 inches of precipitation between Sunday and Monday.

Sunny, then more rain

The weekend rain was expected to taper off by Monday night.

The weather service is forecasting mostly sunny conditions on Tuesday, before another system comes through the region, Barrett said.

"So far, we have a lot of storage in the soils," he said. "There's not a lot of ponding. This is the slower, soaking type of rain."


Rather than the light rain in the northern valley over the past few days, the next system could bring some heavier showers, he said, "or even thunderstorms on the way."

Rainfall from the next system could range from a half-inch or three-fourths inch in some areas to an inch or two in others, he said.

"The potential is there," he said. "If that happens, it would have more of an effect on the drought situation."


Unofficial 3-day precipitation totals, through noon Monday, at local airports for the National Weather Service:

Fargo: 1.61 inches.

Jamestown, N.D.: 1.51 inches.

Fosston, Minn.: 1.39 inches.


Warroad, Minn.: 1.01 inch.

Roseau, Minn.: 0.72 inch.

Mallory, Minn.: 0.67 inch.

Grafton/Walsh County, N.D.: 0.42 inch.

Grand Forks: 0.40 inch.

Devils Lake: 0.34 inch.

Thief River Falls: 0.33 inch.

Mayville, N.D.: 0.28 inch.


Cavalier, N.D.: 0.17 inch.

Red Lake Falls, Minn.: 0.12 inch.

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