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Knows that the cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere plays an important role in determining climatic patterns: water evaporates from the surface of the Earth, rises and cools, condenses into rain or snow and falls to the surface where it forms rivers and lakes and collects in porous layers of rock.

Snowmelt and Floods

The movie "Fargo" won an "Oscar" for Best Original Screen Play at the Academy Awards in the spring of 1997. Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota were again in the headlines a few weeks later because of record-setting snowmelt floods.

Exercise: Determine the volume of water stored in the snow in the Red River basin. Also, give some possible reasons for why the flooding of the Red River was greater and occurred later in northern North Dakota than in southern North Dakota? [This is answered in the discussion.]

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