Smoky skies, mottled thunderstorms forecast for Grand Forks this week

An afternoon downpour followed by overnight rain dropped 0.46 inches of rain on Grand Forks on Monday, July 19, bringing some much-needed moisture to the area.

Unfortunately, according to WDAY StormTracker meteorologist Lydia Blume, it was not enough to overcome the ongoing drought.

“It’s raining at the right time, and of course it’s helpful rain at this point because it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen measurable rain,” she said. “So it’s good rain, but there is no way it will reverse the drought. We’d have to see such rains almost every other day to really reverse this drought, and that’s just not the pattern we’re in. ”

Monday afternoon’s rains were accompanied by sporadic reports of road flooding in Grand Forks, but Blume said no formal complaints had been filed as of Tuesday morning, July 20. She said it was likely that the rain caused a short puddle in the streets, but not the level of an actual flood.

On the night of Tuesday July 21, Blume said Greater Grand Forks residents can expect spotty thunderstorms, even though nothing was as impressive as eastern North Dakota on Monday evening.

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The storm that rolled through the Greater Grand Forks region on Monday night was accompanied by lightning and loud thunder.

Temperatures will continue to rise as the week progresses and will return to the 1990s by the weekend. The smoky conditions caused by forest fires in Canada and the western United States, which are expected to persist or worsen slightly on Tuesday, are expected to be somewhat improved on Wednesday by breezy conditions, particularly in the lower reaches of the atmosphere.

The fires continue, however, and residents can likely expect smoky conditions during the foreseeable fire season.

“The smoke returning to our skies is certainly a possibility,” said Blume. “That won’t get rid of it for the rest of the summer.”

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