It is extremely dry. Total precipitation for Fargo-Moorhead since Sept. 1 is 4.08 inches, which ranks as the eighth-driest since 1882. The total of 1.88 inches since Sept. 1 in Grand Forks is the driest since 1893. Bismarck has recorded just 2.23 inches, which is the driest since 1875. The 1.81 inches at Jamestown is the driest since 1900. Actually, the fall was great for agriculture because of excellent harvest weather. Winter was annoying for winter recreation enthusiasts but great on our heating bills.

Nevertheless, drought has been developing in stealth because of lower water needs during fall and winter. A day or two of rain this week may help reduce the fire danger for a while. Even if the weather should turn rainy for a week or so later this month as is indicated by some long-range models, our region is so far behind on precipitation that it will require timely, generous rains to keep us from summer drought.

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