Weekend thunderstorms bring tornado warning, water spout, large hail to eastern North Dakota

The Grand Forks area will likely see more thunderstorms throughout the week.

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Thunderstorms on Sunday, Aug. 20, created a water spout over Devils Lake. // Photo contributed by WDAY
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Thunderstorms in eastern North Dakota on Sunday, Aug. 22, brought large hail, rainfall and a tornado warning to the region, as well as a water spout over Devils Lake.

Storms started in the morning and moved over Devils Lake before moving north, said WDAY Stormtracker meteorologist Jared Piepenburg. There was a break after midday, then throughout the late afternoon stronger thunderstorms began to develop, which caused hail and the water spout above Devils Lake.

The tornado warning was issued in western Grand Forks County around 8:30 p.m., but tornado reports were still pending as of Monday morning, Aug. 21, according to the National Weather Service.

There also have so far been no reports of significant damage as of Monday morning, Piepenburg said.

According to the National Weather Service, the highest rainfall totals in the region were recorded in Pelican Rapids, which received about 4.9 inches of rain. Here are other rainfall totals from around the region:


  • Roseau received 3.5 inches
  • Thief River Falls received 2.9 inches
  • Fertile received 2.7 inches
  • Grand Forks received 2.4 inches
  • Alvarado received 1.6 inches
  • Mentor received 1.3 inches
  • Fort Totten received 1.2 inches
  • Warroad received 0.8 inches

The WDAY Stormtracker team is monitoring showers throughout the rest of the week, although the week will get off to a dry start on Monday, Aug. 21, Piepenburg said.
"We're kind of tracking some scattered thunderstorms just broadly across the valley," Piepenburg said. "So there will be a chance again on Tuesday, and then it looks like we'll probably have a break on Wednesday, with another chance of showers and thunderstorms toward the end of the work week. So Tuesday, and potentially Thursday and Friday could have some thunderstorms in the area."

Piepenburg noted that the cold front that moved into the region last week shifted local weather patterns away from the hot, breezy, humid days seen more recently into cooler and wetter days. He said cooler temperatures will likely hold until fall, with occasional hot days happening less frequently than they have recently.

"I think we'll still have them here and there," he said. "But it just may not be as consistent as what we've had recently."

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