Northwest ND (06/17/21)
Last week started out with hot temperatures across the Northwest followed by a series of severe thunderstorms that moved across the region the evening of June 10th. The storm dumped anywhere from 1” to 3” of rain in just a few hours and some areas received hail. The largest hail fell in eastern MT but pockets of larger hail, up to golf ball-size, fell in Williston and other spots. In Williston, damage was common on vehicles, roofs, and structures. Thankfully, most places reported pea-size or smaller hail. It then continued to rain overnight and most of Friday morning, adding another 1” to 2” to rainfall totals for the week. Approximate totals for the two days were 1.5” in Watford City, 2.5” in Williston, 4” in Ray, 2.5” in Crosby, and 4.5” in Bowbells. Unfortunately a lot of the rain that fell during the first wave of storms on Thursday likely ran off as it came down so quickly it did not have time to soak in.
Hail had the potential to damage soybean and canola crops which were in early development stages due to the drought. Small grains likely fared better with not too much damage reported. However, small grain fields have been pushed by the heat and drought and some damage was likely already done. At the WREC, pea is starting to flower though it is very short. Winter wheat is very uneven with plants in the field anywhere from tillering to in the boot, to head emergence starting. Later planted crops suffered some wind damage from sandblasting caused by the strong winds that preceded last Thursday’s storms.
Extension Cropping Systems Specialist