The weather station at the airport in Bismarck has only received 2.21" of total precipitation so far in 2020. To date, this is the driest year on record with the record period dating back to the year 1875. Some of this moisture fell as snow, but the January through April snow tally for Bismarck was a mere 14.9". Due to wetter conditions last summer, fall and early winter, the drought in the Bismarck area has not yet reached severe proportions. However, with more hot temperatures this summer, evaporation rates will continue to increase.
If the typical summertime scattered thunderstorms continue to mostly miss the Bismarck area, the drought will undoubtedly worsen. Soil conditions in the Red River Valley region are quite variable; some spots are exceptionally wet and some areas are beginning to get very dry. Summer rainfall is typically rather random due to the sporadic nature of thunderstorms, but the outlook is for generally drier and warmer than average weather.