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Weather Talk: Red River is faster, higher than long-term average at this time

The Red River in Fargo has been dropping slowly the past few days to around 15 feet. The river is faster and higher than the long-term average for early December, but this is of no concern as the Red has remained quietly within its banks all year...

The Red River in Fargo has been dropping slowly the past few days to around 15 feet. The river is faster and higher than the long-term average for early December, but this is of no concern as the Red has remained quietly within its banks all year thanks to two dry winters in a row. We even managed to get through a few heavy rains this summer and fall without any river flooding due to greater storage capacity in the soil. In very dry times past, the river has actually dried up. Although it has been wet around here for most of the past 25 years, there have been some severe droughts in our past when the Red River stopped flowing entirely. The last time there was no flow was in October 1976. During the severe drought of the 1930s, the winter of 1936-1937 brought 82 inches of snow, a record at the time. As the record snow melted in the spring, the Red at Fargo rose from no flow to a crest of 10 feet, which is about 5 feet lower than the stage today.

 

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