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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published February 15 2013

Weather Talk: Spring moisture will give clues to end to drought

In the past couple of weeks, the immediate Fargo-Moorhead area has received 12 to 18 inches of snow. South and east of the metro, widespread 20 to 30 inches has fallen. The drought is therefore over, correct?

Well, not so fast. The moisture content of the snow was generally in the 1-2 inch range, with some locations even a bit higher than that. In our warm season, a thunderstorm complex could easily put down that much rain in a couple of hours.

Although the snow was helpful, and in some instances too much of a good thing, it will still be the spring moisture that will give clues to when the dry conditions may end. Plus, in many other locations, especially in the central and northern Red River Valley, precipitation is still running below average this winter.

Back in 2006, it was also dry, but the pattern changed late in the winter of 2006-07, and all drought talk quickly ended before the summer of 2007. We may be repeating that scenario, but it is way too early to know for sure.

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