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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published April 17 2013

Weather Talk: Local weather again swings from one extreme to another

From warm and dry to cold and wet, this spring is essentially the opposite of last spring. Such a turnaround is not that unusual in the annals of local weather.

The driest calendar year on record (January through December) was in 1976, when just 8.84 inches fell all year. That year was preceded by a year with a very wet summer and the worst known summertime flood in 1975 and was followed by what is currently the third-wettest calendar year on record, when 32.28 inches fell in 1977.

The North Dakota state records for lowest temperature (minus 60 degrees in Parshall) and highest temperature (121 at Steele) were both recorded in 1936.

In the spring of 1989, a spring snowmelt flood followed a summer of drought even more extreme than last summer. Our weather does have a tendency to flip from one extreme to the other. It has happened before, it is happening now, and it will happen again.


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