NOAA Forecasters: Red River Will Crest Again in Fargo-Moorhead in Late April
· High flows. Local river levels have fallen after their recent record flows, but these drops are slowed by excessive downstream waters and the overall low-relief of the river valley, leaving a significant amount of water in the river.
· Saturated and/or frozen soils. Heavy rain last fall produced saturated soils before winter freeze-up. These soils remain saturated and/or frozen to a depth of 30 inches or more, causing any spring rains or snowmelt to rapidly runoff into the river.
· Widespread frozen surface water. Cold temperatures caused overland flow and local runoff to freeze on area fields. This water will quickly become runoff when the temperatures warm above freezing.
· Record precipitation and recent significant snowfall. Fargo saw all-time record precipitation over the past seven months, with significant precipitation throughout the basin, particularly upstream of Fargo. The recent March 30-April 1 snow storm brought an additional 10-20 inches of snow across broad sections of the basin, which will increase runoff into the river when melting begins.
· Reduced water storage. Area reservoirs are virtually full and currently have little or no additional storage capacity. Officials are releasing water from these reservoirs. Additional runoff will enhance the need for further releases.
· Spring warming. An inevitable warm-up through the spring combined with the threat of additional rainfall could exacerbate the potential for rapid runoff.
Concerns still remain about the first flood wave as it continues to slowly move downstream toward Drayton. Residents can monitor local conditions on weather.gov/water
NOAA urges residents of Fargo-Moorhead and Red River Valley communities to continue heeding orders issued by local officials. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.
Contacts: Pat Slattery FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE