The abundant moisture much of the region has recorded over the past 20 years may have skewed some memories as to how dry this area can get. Certainly, last year was a reminder of this fact for many. Historically, this area averaged just 15 to 20 inches of rain and melted snow for much of the 20th Century before the area turned wet in the 1990s and increased our average to the 20 to 25 inch range.
Many rainfall records have been set in recent years, simply because in a semi-arid climate, setting records for abundant moisture is easier than breaking dry records. Case in point, in July only 0.90 inches of rain fell in Fargo Moorhead, but that did not even rank in the top 20 for driest on record.
That makes what happened around Jamestown last month impressive, as that area recorded their driest July on record, besting even 1936. That is also why Stutsman and some surrounding counties are currently listed as being in drought conditions once again.