Clipper expected to bring needed rain to areaThe term “Alberta clipper” inspires dread when heard in a winter weather forecast. In August, it could bring a break to the hot, dry weather. “Friday we’ll have an Alberta clipper-type system,” said Nathan Heinert, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Bismarck. “If this came in the winter it could bring quite a bit of snow.”
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The term “Alberta clipper” inspires dread when heard in a winter weather forecast. In August, it could bring a break to the hot, dry weather.
“Friday we’ll have an Alberta clipper-type system,” said Nathan Heinert, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Bismarck. “If this came in the winter it could bring quite a bit of snow.”
Instead the system is anticipated to bring widespread rain between a half and 1 inch and localized amounts of up to 2 inches, Heinert said. If this occurred in the winter, the forecast might read widespread snow between 5 and 10 inches with localized amounts up to 20 inches.
“This is not the drought breaker,” said Rob Kupek, WDAY meteorologist. “We’ll have to see who gets what but it is just a single system moving through.”
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Jamestown is 1.53 inches of moisture behind normal for the growing season that began April 1. Areas in eastern North Dakota are drier with Fargo 3.95 inches behind normal and Hillsboro 4.39 inches behind normal.
Normal rainfall for April 1 through July 29 in Jamestown is 9.83 inches and in Fargo it’s 10.37.
However, Streeter in southwest Stutsman County has recorded 11.05 inches of rain — 1.73 inches more than normal.
The High Plains Regional Climate Center places 87 percent of North Dakota in drought conditions. HPRCC categorizes 98 percent of the High Plains as in a drought. The High Plains includes Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and North and South Dakota.
The lack of moisture in some areas is affecting crops, according to Randy Grueneich, Barnes County extension agent in Valley City.
“In the real sandy ground there has been extensive damage to the row crops already,” he said. “The other areas are hanging on. There will be some good and some not so good.”
The soybean crop is the most vulnerable now with plants blooming and forming pods, Grueneich said. The corn crop is also stressed by the dry weather.
The dry weather is also affecting municipal utilities.
The Jamestown water treatment plant is currently processing about 4 million gallons per day. Toby Berreth, water plant operator, estimates up to 1 million gallons is used daily for lawn and garden watering. The plant’s total capacity is about 10 million gallons per day.
The weather system moving through will give the lawn sprinklers a break for a couple of days.
“It will move through quick,” Kupek said. “Showers in the morning, quiet in the midday and the front with the bulk of the precipitation late Friday.”
Kupek said the weekend forecast includes lower temperatures with a return to normal or above normal temperatures early next week. Normal highs this time of year in Jamestown are 84 degrees.
“The overall trend going into August is the temperatures still above normal,” he said.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org