27 March 2006: Scientists at the USGS have found evidence in eastern North America that the snow is melting and running off into rivers earlier than it did in the first half of the 20th century. According to a USGS study winter-spring flows in many rivers in the northern US and Canada are occurring earlier by 5-10 days. The scientists compared the dates by which half of the total volume of winter-spring runoff has flowed past a river gauging station in each year. Most rivers north of 44° north latitude—roughly from southern Minnesota and Michigan through northern New York and southern Maine—showed earlier winter-spring streamflows. In contrast, many stations south of this line in Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and northern Illinois had later streamflows.
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