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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published August 27 2013

Weather Talk: Red stopped flowing a year after summer flood of 1975

In 1975, 26.30 inches of rain and melted snow were recorded. At the time, it was the 15th-wettest year on record.

Much of the excessive rain that year occurred in June, when 9.40 inches were recorded. That June rain was even heavier south of Fargo, and that led to severe summer flooding on both the Red and Sheyenne rivers, among others. With so much water, thoughts of water shortages was likely not on anyone’s mind that summer.

Yet, a year later, in 1976, the Red River in Fargo gradually stopped flowing. Only 8.84 inches of rain and melted snow were recorded in Fargo-Moorhead that year, with most of the region also receiving scant precipitation. With summer temperatures finishing well above average, the lack of rain in combination with high evaporation rates led to many rivers running dry by that autumn.

From summer flood in 1975 to barely a trickle in 1976, such events in our climate are to be expected, and it will likely occur again in the future.


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