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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published July 11 2013

Weather Talk: Weather not always as cyclical as many believe

Weather goes from wet to dry and back with some regularity. We go through the changes and call them weather cycles.

But weather is not always as cyclical as many of us would like to believe. What is average for 20 to 30 years must be adjusted for the next 20 to 30 years. The past 20 years have been very wet – the wettest in the 133-year record for Fargo-Moorhead. Average rainfall is up 20 percent.

It has been wet long enough that wet is now the average. But much drier weather will likely return at some point in the future. Last summer, we experienced a taste of drought. But drought can be much worse than that. The drought of the 1930s lasted for about 12 years, devastating the economy of the Great Plains.

We are better prepared now than we were then, but a long-term drought would greatly affect our way of life. And it will happen someday. It’s something to think about.


Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.