Souris River Basin Flood and Water Resources Outlook

We would appreciate your comments on our Spring Flood and Water
Resources Outlook product.  A very short survey can be taken here: 

https://docs.google.com/a/noaa.gov/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEh4WE8xdXBMN2pnbzFER1hINm5OQ1E6MQ
 

 

 
Souris River Basin    
...SPRING FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK...

THIS PROBABILISTIC FLOOD OUTLOOK IS FOR SOURIS (MOUSE) RIVER BASIN
OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA...COVERING THE TIME PERIOD OF
LATE JANUARY THROUGH LATE APRIL.

...FLOOD OUTLOOK OVERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS....

DESPITE RECENT STORMS...DROUGHT CONDITIONS REMAIN ACROSS MUCH OF THE
SOURIS RIVER BASIN. THIS PROVIDES THE REGION WITH A WELL BELOW TO
NEAR NORMAL RISK FOR SPRING FLOODING DUE TO SNOWMELT RUNOFF.
HOWEVER...THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS HAVE BEEN NOTABLE BY TWO
SIGNIFICANT MOISTURE PRODUCING STORMS ACROSS THE REGION. IF THIS
PATTERN WERE TO CONTINUE...THE RISK OF SPRING FLOODING DUE TO THE
INEVITABLE MELT SEASON CAN ONLY INCREASE...ESPECIALLY IF IT
COINCIDES WITH HEAVY SPRING RAINS.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PROBABILITY TABLES IS THE RISK OF ICE
AFFECTED...OR ICE JAM...RELATED PROBLEMS THAT MAY ALSO CAUSE FLOODING
DURING THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

...CURRENT CONDITIONS...

THERE ARE NO RIVER LOCATIONS IN THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN ABOVE FLOOD
STAGE. RESERVOIR LEVELS ARE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR AND WITHIN
THE NORMAL RANGE FOR DRAWDOWN LEVELS BEFORE SPRING.

...WEATHER OUTLOOK...

A RELATIVELY WEAKER LA NINA COMBINED WITH THE POSITIVE PHASE OF THE
ARCTIC OSCILLATION HAS RESULTED IN A WARMER AND DRIER FIRST HALF OF
THE WINTER. WHILE THE REGION HAS BEEN MORE ACTIVE AS OF LATE...THE
EXTENDED FORECASTS FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER SUGGEST A MORE
SEASONAL EXPECTATION IN THE NEAR TERM AND A WARM MONTH OF MARCH.
HOWEVER...THE FORECASTS FOR THE MARCH...APRIL...AND MAY PERIOD
GENERALLY CALL FOR AN EQUAL CHANCE OF BELOW NORMAL...NORMAL...AND
ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURES FOR MOST OF THE SOURIS
RIVER BASIN IN NORTH DAKOTA. THIS IS LIKELY A RESULT OF CONTINUED
MODERATING LA NINA CONDITIONS THROUGH SPRING AND THE EFFECTS OF THE
POSITIVE ARCTIC OSCILLATION. IMPORTANTLY...ENOUGH OF THE WINTER SEASON
REMAINS TO PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT SNOWPACK BEFORE THE ONSET OF THE SPRING
MELT BUT THAT RISK DIMINISHES WITH EACH PASSING WEEK.


...SUMMARY OF HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS AND SPRING EXPECTATIONS...

THE CONTINUATION OF WARM AND DRY WEATHER LEAVES THE REGION WITH BELOW
NORMAL SNOW COVER IN THE HEADWATERS OF THE SOURIS AND DES LACS
RIVERS...GENERALLY MUCH LESS THAN TWO INCHES OF WATER EQUIVALENT.
THIS LACK OF MOISTURE ACROSS THE REGION SUGGESTS THAT THE MAJORITY OF
FLOOD RISK REMAINING WOULD BE DUE TO SPRING RAINS AND UNPREDICTABLE
ICE JAMS COINCIDENT WITH THE SPRING MELT. WITH HIGHER THAN NORMAL FLOW
THROUGH THE SOURIS RIVER FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR...AND A GENERALLY WARMER
WINTER...IT SHOULD BE AN EARLIER THAN NORMAL ICE FREE SOURIS RIVER THIS
YEAR. RISK OF ICE JAM RELATED FLOODING ALONG THE SOURIS IS GENERALLY
CONSIDERED NORMAL. ONE DIFFICULT TO QUANTIFY ASPECT OF CURRENT
CONDITIONS ARE THE FULL PRAIRIE POTHOLES OF THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN.
THESE WETLANDS REMAIN UNUSUALLY FULL OF WATER AND RESULT IN A LACK OF
NATURAL STORAGE WHICH COULD ENHANCE RUNOFF FROM SNOWMELT AND SPRING
RAINS.

ICE JAM RELATED FLOODING IS NOT QUANTIFIABLE...AND AS A RESULT...NOT
INCLUDED IN THE GENERATION OF THE LISTED PROBABILITIES.


...TABLE 1...PROBABILITIES FOR MINOR...MODERATE AND MAJOR
FLOODING...AND THE DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL OF REACHING FLOOD STAGE...

        TABLE 1. CHANCES OF EXCEEDING FLOOD STAGE AT SPECIFIC
                 LOCATIONS IN THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN.
                    VALID 5 MARCH - 3 JUNE 2012

                                                          DEPARTURE
                         ---------FLOOD STAGES---------   FROM NORMAL
                         MINOR     MODERATE    MAJOR      OF REACHING
LOCATION                 STG  PCT   STG  PCT   STG  PCT   FLOOD STAGE
---------------------------------------------------------------------
DES LACS RIVER
  FOXHOLM                16   1%    18   1%    19   1%    NEAR NORMAL

SOURIS RIVER
  SHERWOOD 15W           18   4%    20   3%    25   1%       20% LESS
  FOXHOLM 3E             10  44%    13   8%    15   3%        9% LESS
  MINOT 4NW              14   3%    17   3%    22   1%       15% LESS
  MINOT-BRDWY BRDG     1549   3%  1551   3%  1555   3%    NEAR NORMAL
  LOGAN                  34   9%    36   4%    38   1%       23% LESS
  SAWYER                 22  11%    24   6%    26   3%       18% LESS
  VELVA                1505  11%  1510   3%  1515  ---       10% LESS

WINTERING RIVER
  KARLSRUHE 6N            7   6%     9  ---    10  ---    NEAR NORMAL


SOURIS RIVER
  TOWNER                 52  60%    54  23%    56   4%    NEAR NORMAL
  BANTRY 8E              11  52%    12  31%    14   4%        9% LESS

WILLOW CREEK
  WILLOW CITY 7W         10  11%    14   3%    16   1%       23% LESS

SOURIS RIVER
WESTHOPE 7NNE            10  26%    14   6%    16   3%       23% LESS


DEP = DEPARTURE
FS  = FLOOD STAGE
NA = NOT APPLICABLE
NN = NEAR NORMAL
PCT = PERCENT
STG = STAGE (FEET)
--- = STATISTICAL DISTRIBUTION COMPLETELY BELOW THIS STAGE
N A = NOT APPLICABLE

...TABLE 2...THE 90 THROUGH 10 PERCENT COLUMNS GIVEN IN TABLE 2
REPRESENT THE PROBABILITY OF THE RIVER AT A GIVEN LOCATION RISING TO
THE INDICATED STAGE LEVELS WITHIN THE NEXT THREE MONTHS.

EXAMPLE...DES LACS RIVER AT FOXHOLM HAS A FLOOD STAGE OF 16 FEET. IN
THE NEXT THREE MONTHS THERE IS A 90 PERCENT CHANCE THAT THE RIVER
WILL RISE TO AT LEAST 6.5 FEET...BUT ONLY A 10 PERCENT CHANCE THAT IT
WILL RISE ABOVE 9.6 FEET.

           TABLE 2. CHANCE OF EXCEEDING STAGES AT SPECIFIC LOCATIONS
                              ALL STAGES ARE IN FEET
                           VALID 5 MARCH - 3 JUNE 2012

LOCATION   FS (FT)   90%    80%    70%    60%    50%    40%    30%    20%    10%
________   ______    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___
DES LACS RIVER
FOXHOLM       16     6.5    6.9    7.1    7.4    7.8    8.2    8.6    9.2    9.6

SOURIS RIVER
SHERWOOD 15W  18     5.6    6.7    9.2   10.0   11.4   12.1   13.1   13.5   14.3
FOXHOLM 3E    10     7.4    7.7    8.3    9.0    9.6   11.1   12.0   12.6   12.9
MINOT 4NW     14     5.5    5.9    6.6    7.2    8.3    9.0    9.9   10.6   11.0
MINOT BWY BR 1549 1541.3 1541.5 1541.8 1542.1 1542.3 1542.9 1543.3 1543.6 1544.1
LOGAN         36    23.9   24.8   25.6   26.8   28.2   29.5   31.0   31.6   34.7
SAWYER        22     9.3   10.3   11.0   13.3   15.9   17.1   18.3   19.4   23.5
VELVA        1505 1491.9 1493.3 1494.4 1495.9 1498.0 1499.5 1501.2 1502.6 1505.3
TOWNER 1NW    52    48.4   50.2   50.8   52.2   53.0   53.4   53.8   54.3   55.4
BANTRY 8E     11     6.5    7.8    8.6   10.5   11.4   11.7   12.1   12.5   13.3
WESTHOPE 7NNE 10     7.9    8.2    8.4    8.8    9.1    9.4    9.9   10.4   13.1

WINTERING RIVER
KARLSRUHE 5NE  7     3.7    3.8    3.9    4.0    4.2    4.3    4.5    5.4    6.8


WILLOW CREEK
WILLOW CITY 7W 10    6.2    6.3    6.5    6.6    6.8    6.9    7.1    7.4   11.1


...TABLE 3...PROBABILISTIC FORECASTS FOR "HOW LOW COULD THE RIVER GO?"
THIS FEATURE IS INCLUDED ON OUR AHPS WEB PAGES FOR EACH FORECAST POINT IN
THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN THAT HAS PROBABILISTIC GRAPHICS PRODUCED FOR THEM.
PROBABILISTIC LOW FLOW INFORMATION PROVIDES USEFUL INFORMATION DURING
DROUGHTS...AND FOR RIVER USERS INTERESTED IN FISHERIES...INDUSTRIAL
DISCHARGES...DILUTION RATIOS...RECREATION...IRRIGATION...AND NAVIGATION.
IT AIDS IN ASSESSING RISK DURING SITUATIONS WHERE LOW FLOWS MAY BE
CRITICAL TO OPERATIONS.

       TABLE 3. CHANCES OF FALLING BELOW INDICATED STAGE AT SPECIFIC
                     LOCATIONS IN THE SOURIS RIVER BASIN.
                           ALL STAGES ARE IN FEET
                         VALID 5 MARCH - 3 JUNE 2012

LOCATION    FS (FT)  10%    20%    30%    40%    50%    60%    70%    80%    90%
________    _______  ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___    ___

DES LACS RIVER
FOXHOLM       16     4.7    4.8    4.8    4.9    4.9    4.9    4.9    4.9    4.9

SOURIS RIVER
SHERWOOD 15W  18     0.4    0.5    0.6    0.6    0.7    0.7    0.7    1.0    1.1
FOXHOLM 3E    10     4.5    4.5    4.5    5.0    5.1    5.1    5.1    5.3    5.5
MINOT 4NW     14     3.9    3.9    4.1    4.1    4.1    4.1    4.1    4.3    4.3
MINOT BWY BR 1549 1536.1 1536.9 1537.1 1537.1 1537.2 1537.3 1537.4 1537.9 1538.1
LOGAN         36    19.0   19.5   19.6   19.6   19.6   19.6   19.6   19.7   20.0
SAWYER        22     5.5    5.7    5.7    5.7    5.7    5.7    5.7    5.8    6.1
VELVA        1505 1489.0 1489.0 1489.0 1489.0 1489.0 1489.0 1489.0 1489.2 1489.2
TOWNER 1NW    52    44.1   44.2   44.3   44.3   44.3   44.3   44.3   44.3   44.3
BANTRY 8E     11     2.3    2.4    2.5    2.5    2.5    2.5    2.5    2.5    2.5
WESTHOPE 7NNE 10     6.0    6.0    6.0    6.0    6.0    6.0    6.0    6.0    6.0

WINTERING RIVER
KARLSRUHE 5NE  7     1.8    1.8    1.8    1.8    1.9    2.0    2.1    2.1    2.2

WILLOW CREEK
WILLOW CITY 7W 10    4.6    4.6    4.6    4.6    4.6    4.6    4.6    4.6    4.6

THE NUMBERS CONTAINED IN TABLE 3 REPRESENT NATURAL FLOWS. THAT
IS...FLOW UNAFFECTED BY MAN-MADE STRUCTURES IN THE BASIN SUCH AS
DIVERSION DAMS AND RESERVOIRS.

THIS LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOK CONTAINS FORECAST VALUES THAT
ARE CALCULATED USING HISTORICAL WEATHER PATTERNS FROM 30 OR MORE
YEARS OF CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA COMBINED WITH CURRENT CONDITIONS OF THE
RIVER...SNOWPACK...AND SOIL MOISTURE. BY PROVIDING THE COMPLETE
RANGE OF PROBABILITIES...THE LEVEL OF RISK ASSOCIATED WITH
LONG-RANGE PLANNING DECISIONS CAN BE DETERMINED. THESE PROBABILISTIC
FORECASTS ARE PART OF THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE`S ADVANCED
HYDROLOGIC PREDICTION SERVICE.

...ADDITIONAL HYDROLOGIC INFORMATION....

THIS OUTLOOK IN GRAPHICAL FORM ALONG WITH GRAPHS OF STAGE...FLOW...
AND VOLUME ARE AVAILABLE ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEBSITE.
OTHER USEFUL LINKS INCLUDING EXPLANATIONS OF THIS PRODUCT AND
CURRENT INFORMATION FOR ALL 13 RIVER FORECAST POINTS IN THE SOURIS
RIVER BASIN ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE. FIVE-DAY FORECASTS ARE
ALSO AVAILABLE WHEN THE RIVER AT A FORECAST POINT IS NEAR OR ABOVE
FLOOD STAGE.

VISIT OUR HOME PAGE AT: HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/BIS FOR MORE WEATHER
AND FLOOD INFORMATION.

THE NEXT AHPS FORECAST WILL BE ISSUED ON 8 MARCH.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS...CONTACT THE NWS AT 701-250-4495.
 
 
 
 
 
 


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