The prolonged dry and unseasonably warm conditions worsened the ongoing drought into the extreme or D3 category in central North Dakota. “It’s very unusual,” said Adnan Akyuz, state climatologist, NDSU Extension. “In winter, we typically get into agricultural hibernation. The drought doesn’t usually create a big impact in winter since all of the crops are out.” The soil moisture evaporation has continued because of the warm and open early winter season. “When a situation is like that and the ground is nearly frozen, but daytime temperatures get above freezing, the soil is able to lose water. Whatever moisture is left in the soil is lost into the atmosphere, which is concerning for next spring planting.”
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