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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published January 25 2012

Important moisture content in snowfall often goes unnoticed

Snow is like the star quarterback or running back on a football team.

It gets all the publicity, and to a large degree, for good reason. Snow gathers our attention because it needs to be shoveled and plowed. It creates hazardous travel conditions and often disrupts our schedule. But the long 50-yard pass for a touchdown that makes the highlight reel would not be possible if the offensive line did not do their job.

In the same way, although everyone notices the snow, the moisture content of the snow is something that largely goes unnoticed. Yet, in the end, it is the most important element of a snowfall. Until the snowfall last Sunday, this winter has been mainly brown, but precipitation amounts have been far from zero. The three principal months of winter average 2.14 inches of liquid precipitation (rain and melted snow). Since Dec. 1, Fargo-Moorhead has officially recorded 0.87 inches of precipitation, certainly below average, but not by as much as most people would probably guess.

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