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Weather Talk: Similar snowpack caused no flooding in spring 1937

The primary reason for such regular flooding in the Red River Valley these past few years is the saturation of the soils caused by years of wetter-than-average weather. In fact, the current wet period has been wetter than our region was dry durin...

The primary reason for such regular flooding in the Red River Valley these past few years is the saturation of the soils caused by years of wetter-than-average weather. In fact, the current wet period has been wetter than our region was dry during the Dust Bowl era.

An illustration of this fact is the similarity of this year's snowfall of 83.7 inches to the 82.3 inches that fell during the winter of 1936-37. The effects of this winter's snow can still be witnessed as the floodwaters recede.

But in the spring of 1937, a similar amount of snow produced no flood at all. The summer of 1936 was so hot and dry that the Red was not flowing at all as winter began. And as the snow melted in the spring, a snowpack similar to this year's caused the Red River to reach a peak crest of 10 feet. The Dust Bowl lasted 12 years, from 1929 through 1940. The current wet period has lasted 18 years so far.

Have a weather question you'd like answered? Email weather@wday.com , or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/ .

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