Weather Patterns May Show a Trend from Past Years for Droughts


Drought conditions are expected to keep getting worse until some rain comes, but meteorologists may have found a pattern from past years that can — potentially — explain what’s in store for the rest of summer.

This winter was the ninth wettest year on record for North Dakota.

Now Spring is turning out to be just the opposite, dry. And Shanon Sorenson sees that in her own yard.

Shanon Sorenson, Bismarck Resident, “You work hard in the Spring to get your yard ready and invest in fertilizing and getting it ready for the summer so you can enjoy it, but its brown and pretty crisp right now.”

Since January first in the Bismarck area, rain has been below average…Short almost 50-percent. 

Allen Schlag, NWS Hydrologist, says, “We are supposed to have somewhere around 7 inches and currently we have 3.44 below normal.”  

The month of May was one of the driest months on record and because of this North Dakota is in a moderate to severe drought and some experts even say that there is a pattern between wet and dry conditions.

“When we tend to have really dry Mays little more than half of the time, about 60% of the time June tends to be wetter than normal,” says Schlag.

So far, the opposite is true for June…but this could just be an extended dry cycle, because there’s no real driving force behind this pattern. 

Schlag says, “There isn’t a defined mechanism, we observe these cycles and we anecdotally see it in the data, but we don’t know the driver for it.”

In the extended outlook, there are equal chances of wet or dry conditions…meaning anything’s possible.

Allen Schlag from the National Weather Service says the top couple inches of soil is REALLY dry, but underneath, the soil is still wet from heavy snow pack this winter.


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