Rain over the weekend in Williston was a welcome sight for gardens, lawns and wheat fields everywhere, but it was not widespread or long enough to do much more than slow the continued spread of drought in the region.

Williams County is listed in extreme drought on the most current Drought Monitor map. An area of exceptional drought, meanwhile is centered over McClean and McHenry counties, and spreading out from there.

Williston got .77 inches of rain Sunday at the airport. Temperatures over the weekend were generally in the 50s — about 20 degrees cooler than normal. The showers were widespread but not even, NWS Meteorologist Brandon Gale told the Williston Herald. Some reported greater amounts and some reported less.

May’s precipitation has been on track with what’s normal for the month so far. There’s been 1.36 inches of precipitation in May to date. Historically, there’s usually about 1.4 inches by this time in May. The total precipitation for May is usually 1.92 inches.

Year-to-date precipitation, however, is about two inches behind normal, at 2.58 inches. It’s more usually around 4 inches year-to-date by now.

The region was very dry going into 2021, however, with a 7-inch deficit in precipitation for 2020. The lack of moisture in the overall soil profile is what has made this a more challenging spring for growers.

More rain is in the near-term forecast, Gale said.

“(Monday, May 24), there’s a chance for some scattered showers, but nothing too heavy, and it’s not going to be for everyone. It’s just gotta be more blips on the radar here and there, but it looks like more widespread precipitation is possible during the day tomorrow,” he said.

There are even better chances of rain in the evening on Wednesday, May 26, into Thursday, but the chances are focused further south rather than north.

The end of the work week looks to be dry, but there will be scattered chances of rain this weekend.

“Possibly a little heavier and more isolated, so not everyone’s gonna get something,” Gale said. “That’s kind of the near to short-term forecast.”

The long-range forecast for June, July and August, meanwhile, so far favors above normal temperatures and slightly below normal precipitation.

“There’s still time for that to change,” Gale said. “%he current setup favors less precipitation, but that’s not to say — one thunderstorm over an area can make a huge difference, like we saw yesterday where some areas got almost 4 inches.”

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