Imagine the backwards L-shaped area of land that covers eastern North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota, western and southern Minnesota, and northern Iowa. This region of the world consistently received about 15% more precipitation a year, on average, from 1993 through 2019, relative to the entire period of record through 1992. And because precipitation does not fall evenly, this same region experienced a measurable and obvious increase in flooding during this same time period.

It is difficult to say exactly what caused the wet weather, but it lasted too long for it to be a random aberration. Now the question is, has this wet period finally ended? Precipitation has fallen off markedly since 2019. Because the root cause of the wet period is unknown, it is impossible to know if the present drought is a part of a long-term drier weather pattern or just the weather being variable. We will know in a few years.

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