Rain over the last week helped the drought situation in some parts of the state, but others are still in exceptional to extreme drought.
Williams County, for example, is in extreme drought and since October 2020 has seen between 25 and 50% of the normal amount of rain.
The severe lack of rain means that even recent precipitation hasn’t done much to help.
“North Dakota has received widespread amounts of precipitation over the past 14 days, leading to some improvement in soil moisture percentiles,” a National Weather Service drought briefing reads. “There could be slight improvements in drought conditions in a few areas, but widespread improvement is not expected due to long-term precipitation deficits being so large.”
Streamflow is starting to improve around the western part of the state with the recent rains. Even still, water levels are low. On Friday, the Missouri River at Williston was at 18.1 feet — flood stage starts at 22 feet.
The drought is expected to continue throughout the summer, and the impact on crops could be serious.
“Crops and pastures will continue to struggle without near weekly rain as soil moisture values are still well below normal in the deeper root zone,” the NWS report noted.