The number four top story of 2020 is Northern Plains weather. The region went from one of the wettest harvest seasons on record with much of the harvest done in the spring, to one of the driest growing seasons. NDAWN Director Daryl Ritchison says 2020 was exceptionally dry for North Dakota. “Bismarck had its third driest year on record since 1875.” North Dakota State Climatologist Adnan Akyuz says 2020 saw a major climate change from wet to very dry conditions. “Even getting into 2020 early in the spring, we experienced major floods in the Red River to the north of Grand Forks. The fall of 2019 was the wettest in Grand Forks, then, in 2020, Grand Forks has the driest fall on record.” Drought conditions also impacted western Iowa along with a derecho wind event that damaged a wide swath of crops across central and eastern Iowa last summer.
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