On May 27 a thunderstorm dropped over 2 inches of rain in much of Moorhead. Fargo and West Fargo on the other hand, especially areas near and west of I-29 picked up less than one inch. By bad coincidence, the sensor at Hector Int’l was not reporting during that timeframe. Therefore, the National Weather Service used the data from the cooperative observer in Moorhead who recorded 2.33 inches.
Eventually, the data was recovered from the automatic gauge at the airport and the official total was dropped to 0.81 inches for that event. This past Wednesday, the airport sensor recorded 2.39 inches from some overnight thunderstorms. The cooperative observer who picked up so much more from the previous event, this time recorded just 0.74 inches. In the end, the summer totals from those two sites now almost match; yet, my house is still running nearly 2 inches shy of both.
These are yet more examples of how a mile or two can make a huge difference in rain totals and how the official reading frequently does not represent other totals nearby.