More rain; Scattered storms soak Stutsman County
According to the National Weather Service office in Bismarck, 1.08 inches of rain fell in six hours on Friday, while Montpelier reported 0.85 inch.
Todd Hamilton, NWS meteorologist, said that was just the tip of the iceberg and residents should be on the lookout for hail and flash floods this weekend.
“Conditions are still right, we’re still very humid, a lot of moisture in our atmosphere, so any storms we do receive could potentially be very heavy,” Hamilton said. “If you get a slow-moving storm you could easily see 1 to 2 inches with that storm. That said, I’m thinking tomorrow (Saturday) it looks at least by the afternoon it’s going to be drying out from west to east, but you’ll probably still have a shot at some showers, maybe some thunderstorms with heavy rain through the day.”
In anticipation of the rain, Saturday’s Germans from Russia event in the Arts Center’s Art Park has been moved indoors to the Arts Center.
Hamilton said the weather could begin to clear up on Sunday, but there is still a chance of showers in the county, but as the humidity drops, the chance for heavy rain also decreases.
“As we’ve seen the last couple days, things are kind of spotty,” Hamilton said. “You might get a 10- to 20-mile area that sees very heavy rain, like 3 to 4 inches, and then next to it, not very much.”
Hamilton said the rain is being caused by a low pressure system to the west that is pulling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
“Until this low pressure system moves over us, we can expect showers with heavy rain … and then Sunday it will be right over the top of us, so it’ll be cooler, but there will be less moisture. Even though there will be a chance of showers and some thunder on Sunday, the threat for heavy rain will be over by then.”
After the system passes, there are still chances for back-end rain on Monday and Tuesday. Hamilton said the humidity and heat over the weekend could lessen the chance for hail, but increase heavy rains and potential flash flooding.
“The threat for large hail is still there, but not as great as if we had a little dryer air in the area,” he said. “There’s just so much moisture, so much warmth, that a lot of these storms get hail aloft but by the time the hail reaches the ground it’s all melted. But, if you get a supercell storm, where the storm rotates, that increases the potential for large hail … In general, because it’s so warm and moist, the threat for large hail is diminished but the threat for heavy rain and flash flooding is increased in this type of system.”
Flash flood warnings in western North Dakota expired early this morning.
Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org