April 2015 North Dakota Climate Summary


Much of North Dakota recorded less than 50 percent of normal rainfall in April (Figure 1).  For some parts of the state, it was the 8th consecutive month with below average precipitation.  The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) average rainfall was 0.51 inches which is well below the average of 1.22 inches.  That would rank the month as the 15th driest April on record.  The persistently dry weather over the past several months has created Abnormally Dry or Moderate Drought conditions in 81% of North Dakota according to the April 28, 2015 U.S. Drought Monitor.

Percent of Rain
Figure 1: Percent of Average Rain



In typical April fashion, temperature fluctuations in North Dakota were quite extreme during the month with a minimum of 7° on April 3 in Cavalier to a maximum of 83° on April 30 in Crary.  Several stations recorded minimums in the lower teens as late as April 23 (Figure 2).

April 23 2015 lows
Figure 2: April 23, 2015 NDAWN Minimums


The monthly anomalies from normal finished just slightly above average for much of the state (Figure 3).  The NDAWN statewide average temperature was 44.0 degrees which is 1.6 degrees above normal. That would rank the month as tied for the 30th warmest on record. That was a notable departure from the previous two years as April 2013 ranked as the coldest on record and April 2014 ranked as the 25th coldest on record.


Average Temperature Departure from Normal
Figure 3: Average Temperature Departure from Normal

Daryl Ritchison