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Extreme dry weather pattern should not continue into fall

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This upcoming fall should be less dry than summer has been, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Jeff Makowski of NWS - Grand Forks said the area is heading into a weak El Nino pattern for the fall, after a year or two of a La Nina pattern.

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"Generally, with those types of situations, we start to see a little bit more precipitation in the fall and a cool period," he said.

Makowski said an El Nino pattern happens when waters off the tropical Pacific start to warm relative to where they normally are. If they warm significantly, it creates a stronger El Nino pattern. The warming pattern is not very significant this time around.

A La Nina pattern is associated with cooler tropical Pacific ocean waters, Makowski said.

Makowski said the forecast from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is for normal precipitation and slightly above average temperatures for fall months. He added that the worst of the heat wave is probably over, and the month of August should continue to be above normal, but less extreme than earlier in the summer.

One aspect of this summer's dry weather has been no confirmed tornadoes in July in Minnesota.

Jim Kaiser of NWS - Grand Forks said convective activity has been pushed away from the Plains because of the drought.

Kaiser also said it is easier for vortexes to form with lower cloud bases and more moisture, but with lower moisture, the cloud bases are higher.

Also with dry weather, Wadena County has had normal conditions compared to northwest, southwest and south Minnesota, according to United States Drought Monitor data.

In the latest weekly data based on 7 a.m. July 31, all of Wadena County was classified as having no drought conditions, while parts of northwest and southern Minnesota were classified as having a severe drought, and the far southwest corner of the state, in Rock County, was classified as having extreme drought.

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