May 18, 2015: The Next 10 Days

The storm that brought rain and snow to North Dakota this weekend into this morning, has moved well to the east/northeast of the state.  The low pressure is now centered to the north of Lake Huron.  The tight pressure gradient between that low and the strong Arctic high pressure is advecting in some very cold air for so late in the season into the region.

Surface Analysis for 1:00 PM

Peak wind gust across the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) today has been near 40 mph for many station across the eastern part of North Dakota into western Minnesota today.  The wind will likely gradually decrease through the rest of the day, yet still be quite strong through early evening.

Peak Gust Today through 1:30 PM

The rainfall from the storm on Sunday into early Monday morning exceeded two inches in parts of Cass and Clay counties (Fargo Moorhead area) and then from near Jamestown through the northern Red River Valley.  Some localized 3 inch totals were observed outside the NDAWN mesonet stations.

Rain Totals May 17, 18, 2015

Record low maximum high temperatures are clearly possible in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota this afternoon.   There was frost recorded in many locations this morning with even a hard freeze (28 degree) temperatures observed in several locations, especially in western North Dakota where the sky cleared overnight.

May 18, 2015 Minimums

Temperatures in the upper 20s are projected, especially in rural location on Tuesday morning.   Below is a projection off the WRF-NAM 4 km resolution computer guidance.  Locations may vary, but the idea of upper 20s potential certain exists.  Possible positives will be the wet soils keeping the very lowest levels near the soil a bit warmer, plus with lighter wind and saturated ground, some fog may develop which would also help keep the atmosphere a bit warmer as well in some locations.  But a devastating frost for agriculture, with another frosty morning potentially on Wednesday seems to be likely for many locations.

Model Guidance Tuesday Minimums

Besides the spits of snow or sprinkles left in the air today, the week looks dry in North Dakota will a gradual warmup.  After Wednesday morning the threat of frost ends and temperatures will warm up into the 60s on Wednesday afternoon and 70s on Thursday into the weekend as warmer air surges back into the state.

The weekend will also bring another threat of rain to the region.  This is the next event mentioned in previous blogs from last week.  Beyond the weekend possibilities, next week looks “average” (70s) lows in the 40s/50s with little if any moisture once again.  More on the weekend storm through the week.

Daryl Ritchison