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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published October 18 2013

Weather Talk: State of our climate has gone through big changes

There is an old English farmer’s weather proverb of which I am frequently reminded: “There is no debt so surely met than wet to dry and dry to wet.” The unusual juxtaposition of a summer drought during this very wet year is a fine example.

It is remarkable that the Fargo official precipitation tally has exceeded 30 inches for 2013 even though it is only mid-October. It is even more remarkable that this has happened despite a severe dry spell during July and August. And with the 2012 calendar year having been so dry, the state of our climate has gone through some mighty big changes over the past few years.

The 2008-11 period was probably the wettest 3½ this region has had since records began in the late 1800s. Then it got very, very dry in 2012. Last February, it started snowing heavily and that continued until it turned to rain in May and June. When the summer dry spell hit, it was difficult to tell if we were in a dry aberration in a greater wet period or of the wet spring had been an aberration in a greater drought. It is obvious now that the aberration was the dry weather.


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