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Published February 19, 2010, 12:26 AM

Climate outlook doesn’t allay area’s flood fears

GRAND FORKS – The National Weather Service’s newest precipitation forecast for March, April and May doesn’t do much to raise or reduce fears of spring flooding in the region.

GRAND FORKS – The National Weather Service’s newest precipitation forecast for March, April and May doesn’t do much to raise or reduce fears of spring flooding in the region.

North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota all have an equal chance of receiving normal, above-normal or below-normal precipitation during the three-month period, according to the outlook released Thursday from the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center.

Temperatures also have an equal chance of being normal, above normal or below normal for the area.

Last year’s outlook for the same period also called for equal chances, and it ended up being colder and wetter than normal, said Mark Ewens, weather service data manager in Grand Forks.

Above-average precipitation is predicted for the southern half of the country, but those chances extend only to northern Nebraska.

In the short term, the eight- to 14-day precipitation outlook released Wednesday shows the southern Red River Valley included – but on the edge – of an area predicted to have below-average precipitation.

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