May 6, 2015 Rain Event

An area of low pressure moved from southwest to northeast across North Dakota on May 6, 2015.  It brought rainfall of varying amounts and intensities during the day into the early morning hours of May 7.

Animation of Surface Features on May 6-7, 2015
Animation of Surface Features on May 6-7, 2015

 

Rainfall amounts across the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) varied from 0.10 inches in Leonard to 1.22 inches in Robinson, North Dakota. But with high spot to spot variability with most rain events in this area, it is of no surprise, that there were even higher totals that missed the NDAWN stations.

Rain Totals from May 6 and May 7 (through 2:00 PM) across the NDAWN mesonet
Rain Totals from May 6 and May 7 (through 2:00 PM) across the NDAWN mesonet

 

CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative, Rain, Hail and Snow Network) observers near Max and just southeast of Minot, North Dakota recorded rainfall in excess of 2 inches.  Both of these locations were in a narrow band of moderate rainfall that moved continuously over the same area for several hours yesterday.

24 hour totals from early May 6 to early May 7, 2015
24 hour totals from early May 6 to early May 7, 2015

This movement over the same areas over a period of time is referenced to “training echos”,  in reference to a train going down the rail-road tracks.  Click on image below if it is not animating to see the “training echos” in a narrow band from just east of Minot to just west of Bismarck.

Animation from Minot Doppler Radar on May 6, 2015
Animation from Minot Doppler Radar on May 6, 2015

Those rain totals were the heaviest in North Dakota since August of 2014.  Although the rain amounts did not eliminate the dry conditions for most locations, it was still a well timed rain after much of the planting had been completed, especially for corn and spring wheat.

Daryl Ritchison