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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published April 14 2013

Weather Talk: Red River Basin’s snow a pittance in big picture

The oceans cover 71 percent of Earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the water, and all of it is salty. Eighty percent of the 3 percent that is not salty is frozen. This ice is locked in place in Antarctica and Greenland, with smaller percentages in the polar ice cap and mountain glaciers.

Most of the remaining freshwater flows in rivers and streams or laps against the shores of lakes. Some of it stagnates in swamps. Some of it hides below us in underground rivers and aquifers. A very small percentage, about one-thousandth of a percent, is in the atmosphere as humidity, clouds, raindrops, snowflakes, hail stones, sleet and graupel.

So in the grand scheme of things, the amount of snow still on the ground over the entirety of the Red River Basin is a pittance and can just go away at any time, as far as I am concerned.


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