Although there were a few isolated exceptions, much of North Dakota recorded below average precipitation during the month (Figure 1). The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) average rainfall was 1.57 inches which is near 75% of the statewide average of 2.09 inches. There were two locations that recorded well above average rainfall, one in the northern Red River Valley and the other in the southwestern part of the state. The heavier rain in those two locations were associated with stagnant deformation (“wraparound”) bands of rain from separate mid-latitude cyclones. The heaviest rain from a single event occurred at the Grafton NDAWN site where 7.14 inches was recorded during the overnight hours of August 22-23.
Most of North Dakota recorded a monthly average temperature very near normal in August (Figure 2). The NDAWN average temperature was 67.9 which is just slightly above the current 30 year average of 67.6 degrees. The monthly average temperatures may not have been exceptionally warm, yet the highest temperatures recorded in North Dakota in two years were measured during the month. Last year no 100° readings were recorded in North Dakota and through July 31 triple digit heat was still lacking, but in August a total of 36 maximums occurred within the NDAWN mesonet with almost all of them being recorded on August 12, 14 and 15. The warmest maximum during the month recorded at a NDAWN station was 104° at Watford City on August 12, Williston on August 14 and at Mandan and Fort Yates on August 15.