This is the causeway on US Hwy 83 that slices Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon, about halfway between Minot and Bismarck. We have driven across this countless times. The water on either side is usually about eight to ten feet below the highway. In the summer Lake Audubon (the east side) is dotted with fishing boats and in the winter there’s a plethora of ice houses. It’s a nice little scenic break on that long road. Here’s what this looks like on a map.
Yesterday the western half of the state was rocked and buffeted by extremely high winds, over 60 mph in many areas. I put gas in the Family Truckster just after all this started up and the rain was horizontal. I was standing under the canopy at the local Cenex and I got soaked. Branches and twigs were peeling off the tree in our front yard. A couple blocks to the north a house lost all its siding on one side. It was quite a spectacle.
But what we experienced here probably was nothing like trying to drive on Hwy 83 yesterday. That photo looks like something you would see off the North Atlantic or one of the Great Lakes, not a land-locked prairie state. I’ve seen some pretty impressive waves on the Missouri river but nothing like this. We’ve also seen some impressive high winds but again, to last most of the day is beyond the norm. Or it used to be beyond the norm.
We’re seeing more and more freakish weather. This semi-arid area is far more humid these days. We’ve always had fierce summer storms but their frequency and ferocity have increased. Winter weather is equally baffling, with a wider range of temperatures and far more unpredictable patterns. There is wildlife in this area that were unheard of when I was a kid. I can’t understand it. It’s almost as if the climate were changing….