The frigid weather that kept western North Dakota in a sub-zero zone for most of February has warmed up with a week of above zero temperatures during the day and moved into a windy week.
It started Monday with a wind advisory and gusts as high as 50 miles an hour along the Highway 12 corridor.
The winds settled down a little the rest of the week with gusts forecast above 20 miles per hours by Friday and temperatures reaching about 40 degrees during the day with a low around 13 degrees at night.
But the temperatures will be dropping again by Saturday, with a predicted high of under 30 degrees and a low of about 4 degrees above zero – along with winds of about 18 miles per hour.
According to longer-range forecasts shown for the nation by the NWS Climate Prediction Center, the area has about a 40 percent probability of being warmer, while at the same time there is better than 50 percent probability of less precipitation during the next 14 days.
NWS shows drought
The southwestern portion of North Dakota is still listed as being part of a severe long-term drought, however, it is less severe than what has hit most of the southwest portion of the nation.
According to a drought monitor map created by the National Weather Service, Bowman, Slope, Golden Valley and Billings counties are shown to be in a severe drought situation in the High Plains portion of the map. The nearby counties of Adams, Hettinger and Stark show the western portions being also impacted by the severe drought conditions, but most being shown as moderate drought.