Spring Flood Outlook as of February 29th, 2012


During the latter part of February,  winter storms across the northern plains produced moderate amounts of snow over much of the region.  These storms have produced adequate snow water equivalents for potential flooding to occur due to snowmelt with normal precipitation during the next 90 days.

Minor flooding due to snowmelt and normal precipitation is likely along the James, Cannonball, Little and Big Sioux Rivers, and Apple Creek, in the Dakotas and northwest Iowa.  The flooding on the James River is anticipated to be restricted to the middle and lower portions of the river.

Based on the current snow pack in the mountains of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, minor flooding is expected along the Wind River at Dubois, WY, and the Big Hole River near Melrose, MT.  Otherwise, no flooding is expected in the mountains due to snowmelt.

The graphic below indicates additional probabilities of minor to moderate flooding in the southeastern portion of the basin.  This is due to current soil moisture conditions and expected rainfall for the next several weeks.  This flooding is not due to snowmelt.

These projections of river stages and reservoir levels are based on current observed states of streamflow, soil moisture, and snow pack, coupled with future precipitation and temperature patterns and anticipated operational hydrologic changes such as reservoir releases and canal diversions. "Outlooks" are provided for long-range (weeks to months) projections based on climatological patterns of precipitation and temperature.  For more detailed information click here.

This will be the last spring flood outlook issued by this office.  A NOAA National Spring Flood Outlook will be released on March 15th, 2012.





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