Your NOAA’s National Weather Service has issued the second Spring Flood Outlook for the Red River Valley and Devils Lake Basin. The entire outlook is available by clicking here. Basically, with the current snowpack, preexisting soil moisture and forecast for this spring, minor flooding is the most likely outcome. This is very much the same as the earlier outlook stated.
As is always the case with spring flooding in the Red River Valley, the rate of the melt and any precipitation that falls during the melt have significant impacts. These two critical elements are more accurately predicted once we get closer to the start of flooding. This year, a La Nina is occurring in the equatorial Pacific. La Nina spring seasons across the northern plains tend to be cooler, and wetter, than average. Should this cooler and wetter trend materialize as expected, it could have an impact on flooding. We therefore remind you to pay close attention to future flood outlooks and statements as we get farther into the spring season and flooding begins.
Generally speaking, flooding starts across the southern Red River Valley in mid to late March and continues through much of April. Except in significant events, snowmelt flooding is usually done in the Red River Valley by early May.
The Devils Lake basin flooding operates on a different time scale, with the peak in lake levels usually occurring in early to mid summer. At this time a one half to one foot rise is anticipated on Devils Lake and East Stump Lake.
The next scheduled spring flood outlook will be on Thursday March 27th 2008.