Weather: Climate continues its wild ride
Yes, that mysterious liquid that fell from the sky the last couple days is rain.
We haven't seen much precipitation in the north woods over the past eight months so the recent moisture is welcome.
The NOAA Drought Monitor places the area under the "severe" drought category, which is actually an improvement from two weeks ago when we were classified as experiencing "extreme" drought conditions.
Look for rainfall totals from a quarter to a half inch. Unfortunately the area will need to 4-5 inches of rain just to bring the totals back to average.
Unusual events continue to make headlines across the country. A severe thunderstorm accompanied by high winds early this week in Amarillo, Texas, left hail drifted as high as 4 feet. That area is also experiencing drought conditions and the hail gathered in muddy brown piles. Below freezing temperatures into southern Iowa damaged nearly half of the state's grape crop. I found this unusual not because the temperatures were so cold but because who knew Iowa had a grape crop?
This past week's clear skies and low morning humidity resulted in dramatic overnight cooling in the north woods also. In fact Wednesday's low of 14 in Bemidji was the second coldest temperature reported in the contiguous 48 states that morning - behind only Park Rapids, where the temperature dropped to 13.
The National Weather Service in Grand Forks is predicting a high today in the low 60s. The warmth will be short-lived, however, as a strong front is forecast to move through the area this evening dropping temperatures to a high in the mid 40s Sunday.
As is typical this time of year temperatures should quickly rebound next week with highs reaching into the lower 50s by Wednesday. There were several bursts of snow in Bemidji Tuesday and Wednesday and some snow may mix with rain showers again overnight Sunday.
TOM SIEMERS is the Pioneer's circulation director.