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WeatherTalk: July was the driest on record in Winnipeg and Grand Forks

This illustrates the basin-wide nature of this drought.

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Brad Jacobson

The source for much of the smoke that burned our eyes and throats during July originated from a huge cluster of forest fires along the Manitoba-Ontario border northeast of Winnipeg. Not coincidentally, the official rain gauge for the City of Winnipeg just recorded its driest July month since the record began in 1873. Total rain for Winnipeg in July was just 0.33 inches.

Grand Forks also recorded the driest July in record with just 0.42 inches. Grand Forks records date to 1893. In Fargo, July rainfall was 0.66 inches, which is the 11th driest since 1881. This illustrates the basin-wide nature of this drought and helps explain the rather rapid drop in flow rates on the Red River throughout its entire course. Although it is unpleasant and expensive, drought is also a normal part of the changeable weather of the northern Plains region.

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