Without thunderstorms, most of the Great Plains, including the Red River Valley, would essentially be a desert.

Although we get five months of snow and that snow can get pretty heavy at times, the moisture content of snow is relatively low, averaging around an inch of water for every 10 to 15 inches of snow. About three-fourths of our annual moisture comes from rainfall during the warm season. And about three-fourths of that rainfall comes from summer thunderstorms.

We might not always enjoy the threats of strong winds, hail and tornadoes. However, our part of the world relies on thunderstorms for our crops, our water supply and even our very livelihood.

Of course, thunderstorms are not the most reliable way of delivering moisture. They are often sporadic. Some summers, we have too many; other years, too few. Nevertheless, summer thunderstorms are our primary moisture supply.

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