Weather Forecast


Fargo, Red River Valley in flash flood watch through Friday

FARGO - The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch through Friday for parts of southeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, including the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Fast-moving thunderstorms pushing into the Red River Valley tonight could produce large hail, damaging winds and more than 3 inches of rain in some areas, said Mark Ewens, meteorological technician at the weather service office in Grand Forks, N.D.

"It essentially has the intensity of a late winter or early spring storm but with summertime moisture to deal with, so it's a very potent storm system," he said.

The flash flood watch is in effect through Friday morning and includes Cass, Ransom, Richland and Sargent counties in North Dakota and Becker, Clay, south Clearwater, Grant, Mahnomen, Norman, Otter Tail, Wadena and Wilkin counties in Minnesota.

Strong thunderstorms are forecast to bring excessive rainfall tonight to the Fargo and Lisbon areas in North Dakota and the Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Elbow Lake and Wadena areas in Minnesota. The weather service forecasts 1 to 2 inches of rain, with localized amounts of 3 inches or more possible.

Some of the rain amounts will fall in a short period of time, which could overwhelm local drainage systems and cause street flooding and problems in basements, Ewens said. The ground in the watch area is already moist, he said.

"Those are the areas that have been consistently getting precipitation through May and now into early June," Ewens said.

Widespread river flooding isn't a significant concern, but small creeks and streams have the potential to rise rapidly, the weather service said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528