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Daryl Ritchison, Published January 27 2013

Weather Talk: Spring, summer rains may break dry spell – not snow

This second year with little snowfall, at least so far, has been very noticeable after several winters with abundant snow. People who make a living plowing snow and snowmobilers and skiers who love to play in deep powder may lament the lack of snow, but most people in agriculture are more concerned about the lack of moisture.

There is an old saying that “droughts do not end or start in the winter,” and there is a lot of truth to that saying. Moisture is almost always limited during the winter. The principle months of winter – December and January – average just around 2 inches of moisture, the equivalent to one good thunderstorm.

Fargo-Moorhead has recorded 0.85 inch of liquid since Dec. 1, about 0.50 inch below average, and that could come easily with just a 6-inch snowfall. Therefore, it will be the spring and early summer rains that may or may not break this dry spell, not the winter snow.


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