Meteorologists have forecast a warm week for the draught-weary Northern Plains. The hot, dry weather exponentially increases the risk of wildfires in the area between the northern Plains and south-central Canada. Last week, Rapid City, South Dakota, and Minneapolis registered 10 degrees F below normal but it only grew steadily hotter after that.
Over the weekend, rainfall, hail, and thunderstorms hit Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Indiana. Further storm conditions are earmarked for Denver and St. Louis this week. However, the moisture and precipitation that is affecting the South Central US will not make their way to the most drought-stricken areas in the country. Bismarck, North Dakota will be particularly affected by this dry spell. This month, the city has received only 48 percent of its normal rainfall. 85 percent of the state of North Dakota is experiencing extreme drought. Other states like South Dakota and Montana will also face dry weather and little relief from the drought conditions.
This week, the heat will likely build to a climax as warm air travels from the Rockies to the Dakotas and the Upper Midwest. Temperatures in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Minnesota will stay 7 -14 degrees above normal. Some regions will experience a temperature in the mid-80s.
Since dry weather poses a risk for wildfires, residents have been cautioned about the correct way to dispose of cigarettes, lighters, and matches and have been urged to report any unattended campfires. Last month, wildfires like the Horse Pasture fire in North Dakota and the Schroeder Fire in South Dakota spread across thousands of acres.
Temperatures are expected to settle in the 70s and lower 80s by Thursday this week.