Smoky skies, spotty thunderstorms forecast in Grand Forks this week

Heavy rain at the beginning of the week wasn't enough to reverse the drought, although breezy conditions could help improve smoky conditions somewhat in Grand Forks.

Luke, left, and Connor Chapman wade in rainwater at the intersection of 10th Ave. N. and N. 15th St. after a brief thunderstorm Monday. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

An afternoon downpour followed by overnight rain dropped 0.46 inches of rain on Grand Forks on Monday, July 19, bringing some much-needed moisture to the area.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to bust the ongoing drought, according to WDAY StormTracker meteorologist Lydia Blume.

"It's timely rain, and it's helpful rain, at this point, of course, because it's been quite a while since we've seen any measurable rain," she said. "So it's a good rain, but it's not going to reverse the drought by any means. We would have to continuously see rains like this almost every other day to really start to reverse this drought, and that's just not the pattern we're in."

Monday's afternoon rains were accompanied by sporadic reports of street flooding in Grand Forks, but Blume said that by Tuesday morning, July 20, no formal complaints had been filed. She said it's likely the rain caused brief puddling in the streets, but did not rise to the level of an actual flood.

On Tuesday night heading into Wednesday, July 21, Blume said Greater Grand Forks residents can expect to see spotty thunderstorms, although nothing as impressive as the eastern North Dakota saw Monday night.


The storm that rolled through the Greater Grand Forks region Monday night was accompanied by lightening and loud thunder.

Temperatures will continue to rise throughout the week and are expected to return to the 90s by the weekend. Smoky conditions caused by wildfires in Canada and the western part of the U.S., expected to persist or worsen slightly on Tuesday, are expected to be improved somewhat by breezy conditions on Wednesday, especially in the lower levels of the atmosphere.

The fires are ongoing, however, and residents can likely expect to see smoky conditions throughout the foreseeable fire season.

"Smoke returning to our skies is certainly a possibility," Blume said. "This is not getting rid of it for the rest of the summer."

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