BY ALYSSA MEIER
Farmers and residents alike breathed a collective sigh of relief last week as the area received a visit from a long-absent passerby - rain.
Storms moved slowly through the area last Wednesday, dousing the dry land and temporarily cooling off the sizzling temperatures that have been common in central North Dakota this summer. The National Weather Service reported upwards of 1.25 inches fell in Washburn on Aug. 2, with Wilton getting a total of 1.5 inches of rain that day.
Annual precipitation reports were not available for McLean County, but those from one nearby city reflected just how dry 2017 has been.
After last week’s showers, the Bismarck office reported a total of
7.37 inches of precipitation since the first of the year, including accumulated water from melting snow. This year-to-date total is down significantly from the average of 11.77 inches, and less than half of last year’s total of 16.66 inches accumulated between January 1 and early August. Since June 1, only 4.24 inches of rain has fallen in the area, far behind last year’s 9.48 inches and the annual average of 6.3.
Precipitation from the Aug. 2 storm alone accounted for anywhere from a sixth to a fourth of the rainfall received for the entire year, depending on the area.