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Not nearly a record, but still a lot of snow; F-M has nearly three times average snowfall

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FARGO - It wasn't quite enough snow to set records, but the final days of 2010 will be memorable.

The Fargo-Moorhead area received 4.8 inches of snow Friday, just shy of the 5.2-inch record for Dec. 31, for a monthly total of 26.6 inches.

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That's enough snow for the third snowiest December on record - ahead of the 24.4 inches in December 2009.

Two blizzards to close out 2010 gave the Fargo-Moorhead area 45.2 inches of snow so far this winter. The average snowfall through December is 16.1 inches.

The winter that keeps giving has brought totals similar, to this point, to those seen in 1996, when the F-M area had 46.8 inches of snow by Dec. 31. That year, a surprise winter storm on the year's final day packed winds in excess of 50 mph.

So how does this winter stack up to the past two years, when residents fought major spring floods, including the epic 40.82-foot Red River in 2009?

By Dec. 31, 2008, which preceded the largest spring flood on record in Fargo, 38 inches of snow had fallen. A year later, the snow total was 25.8 inches at the end of 2009, just a few months ahead of a 36.99-foot river crest.

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