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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published February 22 2013

Weather Talk: Recent snowy weather raises flooding questions

The recent return to snowy winter weather has raised from the dead the possibility of some sort of spring flooding. At this point, severe or catastrophic flooding is not yet likely, but rivers spilling out of their banks to some extent is now likely, whereas it seemed unlikely a few weeks ago.

The drought, which began at the end of summer 2012, continued more or less until Jan. 28. Since that date, Fargo-Moorhead has recorded about 20 inches of snow, with a water content of 1.78 inches. It has been snowier and wetter to our south, which happens to be upstream.

Although severe flooding such as experienced in 2009, 2010 and 2011 is not yet likely, it should be pointed out that there was a severe flood in April 1989 and that flood occurred in between two severe summer droughts in 1988 and 1989.

Dry soils and sloughs are among the many factors that can contribute to flooding. Note: It will require a great deal more water in order for spring flooding to become as bad as the floods of 2011, 2010 or 2009.


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