North and South Dakota drought continues and there is no immediate end in sight. Ryan Martin, HAT Chief Meteorologist, traveling in Canada this week, says the drought has expanded further to the west and north of the Dakotas.
“Montana is getting hammered really bad as well, especially in the eastern part,” he reports. “We’ve heard about the fires of course, but the fires are there because of drought. Then you have this drought extending out into Saskatchewan, not so much Manitoba. Maybe extreme western Manitoba they’re seeing it, but in Saskatchewan they’re seeing significant drought as well. So, there’s definitely a lack of rain. The most severe from up in North Dakota into southern Canada has us right now in what the drought monitor terms, exceptional drought.”
As for relief in drought-stricken areas, Martin doesn’t think it is likely and it will take a lot to improve those areas.
“You reach a certain point where it takes more than your standard, garden variety frontal system coming through to get moisture because your atmosphere is just so dry. You change the evaporation content and the way things work from the surface in these dry areas. So, do I see some systems coming through? Yes. For example, there’s one here a little later this week that kicks out of North Dakota. It really turns into a nice, big storm for the upper Midwest. So there’s some moisture there, but the problem is it’s going to put the moisture down in the usual places, the Red River Valley and far eastern North Dakota where things aren’t really as bad.”
Martin feels the spring didn’t get off to a good start as the Upper Midwest came out of a winter much warmer and drier than normal. That led to a deficit in moisture that just built upon itself as the spring went by. Heading toward fall and harvest time, he says the strange weather pattern could stick around for a while yet.
Here in Indiana more of the same could be on the way. Rain that is. Martin says very unsettled weather is establishing itself over the next couple of days before a mostly dry weekend and then more rain late Sunday and into Monday.