Thursday, December 18, 2014

Despite dry July, rainfall is still up

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Glendive and Dawson County received some much-needed rain on Saturday, the total of which nearly equaled the entire precipitation total for the month of July.

The National Weather Service’s Glasgow reporting station recorded an official rainfall total of 0.63 inches in Glendive from Saturday’s storm.

For the entire month of July, Glendive only recorded 0.75 inches, well below the July average of 1.88 inches.

According to Richard Maliawco, a general forecaster with the weather service, July was unusually dry due to high pressure systems dominating the region, which were in turn caused by a persistent upper level ridge sitting over the area. 

That upper level ridge, besides contributing to a lack of rain, also made any storms that did develop “hit or miss,”  according to Maliawco, and prevented widespread storm systems from developing.

“We’ve had a pattern that’s been fairly dry across the area,” Maliawco said.

Despite the abnormally dry July, the area is still ahead of the curve on precipitation levels to date, thanks to an unusually wet spring. 

For the year to date, Glendive has recorded 10.71 inches of precipitation. The annual average up to Aug. 11 is 9.3 inches.

And further relief from July’s dry spell may be in sight.

“That upper level ridge looks like it may start to break down by the end of this week,” Maliawco said.

Weather forecasts are currently predicting chances of rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

As for the weather service’s long term forecasts, Maliawco said that over the next three months “there’s presently equal chances for above or below average precipitation.”

The long-term temperature forecast is more definitive, with below average temperatures apparently in the offing as summer gives way to fall.

“It does look like that over the next three months temperatures will be below normal over that three month period,” Maliawco said.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

 
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