Hydrologist says North Dakota in one of strongest droughts since 1988, but recent rain helps

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While drought concerns continue to increase, the recent rain is spreading hope for some.

According to Allen Schlag, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, the state has been in one of the strongest droughts since 1988.

The conditions have had a lasting effect on both farmers and ranchers.

While Schlag believes drought damages are irreversible at this point, getting the precipitation that we did in just the last 48 hours has been game-changing.

He says at this point any amount of rainfall is beneficial.

“There’s a lot of dry years plumped in there together and quite honestly just a little bit of moisture can make you jump, I mean not up into the normal category, but it can make you jump 10, 15, 20 percentile rankings pretty easily,” Schlag said.

Schlag says moisture in the ground is currently in the single digits percentile.

He says we need to have anywhere between 30-70% of moisture to be considered normal and out of drought conditions.

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