Most Recent Hydro Probabilistic Outlook Graphs

Due to technical problems at our central region web farm, this release (23 Dec 10) of the monthly Hydrolgic Probabalistic Outlook graphics are unable to be displayed via the regular "Rivers and Lakes - River Gage" web page. As a short-term solution, we are providing them here (in the graphics below) until the problem is resolved.

 

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Red River and Devils Lake Basin

2011 Winter Weather Outlook and Spring Flood Sneak Peek

Talking Points for 12/23/2010

 

Gregory Gust, Warning Coordination Meteorologist

Michael Lukes, Service Hydrologist

NWS Grand Forks ND

  This outlook is based on conditions as of today.  Official textual and graphical outlook products are available at weather.gov/fgf and at weather.gov/ncrfc

While calendar winter has just begun, our typical Northern Plains winter season has been underway for some time.  It is still early in the winter season but these are some points to consider from the end of this year, toward our eventual approach to spring.

- It will be a white Christmas across our area, just as for many it was also a white Thanksgiving.  Heaviest snowfalls thus far have been across the Devils Lake Basin and portions of the southern Red River Basin, with lesser amounts in central and northern areas.  Some early season snow did melt but most of the moisture remains. 

- Residual Summer and Fall moisture continues to be a concern.  Much of the area received five or more inches of above normal precipitation this year, with areas south and east of Fargo receiving nearly a foot above normal of growing season rainfall.  

- Areas soils are largely saturated and most rivers are running at seasonally high levels, with much wetter soils in several northern basin areas as well.

These factors typically account for less than half of the variability we see from one spring flood to the next, so clearly the rest of this winter season and the coming spring thaw cycle will likely be our most significant players.

- The latest winter outlook continues to call for a cooler winter and spring season, with slightly above normal winter precipitation expected.  High levels of snow or rain like that which occurred during the winter/spring periods in 1997 or 2009 are not expected.  However, we have had several consecutive seasons of above normal precipitation.

- The threat of major riverine flooding appears highest along the mainstem Red River, within the Otter Tail basin, along the Sheyenne and portions of the Pembina Rivers.  New record lake level increases are also expected for Devils Lake and Stump Lake. 

Official Spring Flood Outlooks are currently planned for January 27th, February 17th, and March 3rd, with additional updates possible if needed.

                            RED RIVER BASIN

                    LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOK

               VALID DECEMBER 29, 2010 - APRIL 30, 2011             

                                                       DEPARTURE

  OUTLOOK            FLOOD            PERCENT         FROM NORMAL

  LOCATION           STAGES*     MINOR    MOD  MAJOR     AT FS**

  --------          --------     -----    ---  -----   ----------

MAINSTEM RED RIVER...

  WAHPETON, ND      10/12/14       79%    46%    37%     +54%

  FARGO, ND         18/25/30      >98%    85%    58%      N/A

  HALSTAD, MN      26/32/37.5      91%    72%    41%     +70%

  GRAND FORKS, ND   28/40/46      >98%    88%    56%      N/A

  OSLO, MN          26/30/36      >98%   >98%    58%      N/A

  DRAYTON, ND       32/38/42       96%    90%    51%     +61%

  PEMBINA, ND       42/47/52      >98%    91%    51%      N/A

 

MINNESOTA TRIBUTARIES...

  SABIN             12/15/19      >98%    88%    11%      N/A

  HAWLEY             7/9/11       >98%    80%    12%      N/A

  DILWORTH          12/20/26      >98%    90%     9%      N/A

  TWIN VALLEY       10/12/14       67%    28%     6%     +57%

  HENDRUM           20/28/32       96%    80%    40%     +55%

  CLIMAX            20/25/30       79%    33%     9%     +57%

  SHELLY            14/20/23       80%    56%    24%     +62%

  HIGH LANDING     12/12.5/13      62%    38%    25%     +56%

  CROOKSTON         15/23/25       96%    37%    14%     +50%

  ABOVE WARREN      67/71/75       17%     1%    <1%     +12%

  ALVARADO        106/108/110      56%    22%     4%     +41%

  HALLOCK         802/806/810      96%    54%     4%     +38%

  ROSEAU            16/18/19       41%    21%    17%     +21%

 

NORTH DAKOTA TRIBUTARIES...

  ABERCROMBIE       10/12/18       96%    93%    64%     +61%

  VALLEY CITY       15/16/17       66%    62%    50%     +59%

  LISBON            15/17/19       69%    50%    40%     +61%

  KINDRED           16/20/22       85%    72%    <1%     +67%

  HARWOOD         884/886/891      90%    87%    80%     +70%

  WEST FARGO        18/20/21       91%    90%    69%     +71%

  ENDERLIN         9.5/12/14       95%    59%    11%     +68%

  MAPLETON        905/908/910      96%    83%    11%     +71%

  HILLSBORO         10/13/16       79%    58%    12%     +65%

  MINTO              6/8/11        74%    16%    <1%     +67%

  GRAFTON         12/13.5/14.5     71%    43%    33%     +54%

  WALHALLA          11/16/18      >98%    <1%    <1%      N/A

  NECHE            18/19/21.5     >98%   >98%    91%      N/A

 

*  MINOR/MODERATE/MAJOR FLOOD STAGE

** THIS MONTHS CHANCE OF EXCEEDING MINOR FLOOD STAGE COMPARED TO

   THE CHANCE FOR NORMAL CONDITIONS...

     +   % ABOVE NOMRAL

     -   % BELOW NORMAL

     N-N NEAR NORMAL

     N/A NOT AVAILABLE

     FS  FLOOD STAGE...MINOR

 

                          DEVILS AND STUMP LAKES

                    LONG-RANGE PROBABILISTIC OUTLOOK

             VALID DECEMBER 22, 2010 - SEPTEMBER 29, 2011

 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IS PROVIDING MONTHLY UPDATES OF THE

LONG-RANGE OUTLOOK FOR DEVILS AND STUMP LAKES. THESE...AND THEIR

ASSOCIATED WEB GRAPHICS...ARE VALID FOR THE PERIOD OF

DECEMBER 2010 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011.

 

           CHANCES OF DEVILS AND STUMP LAKES RISING ABOVE

                        THE GIVEN LAKE LEVELS

 

                    VALID  12/22/2010 - 9/29/2011

CREEL BAY:

    90%    80%    70%    60%    50%    40%    30%    20%    10%

  ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------

  1453.6 1454.0 1454.1 1454.4 1454.6 1454.7 1455.2 1455.5 1455.9

 

STUMP LAKE:

    90%    80%    70%    60%    50%    40%    30%    20%    10%

  ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------

  1453.6 1454.0 1454.1 1454.4 1454.6 1454.7 1455.2 1455.5 1455.9

 

  THE CURRENT HEIGHT OF DEVILS LAKE AT CREEL BAY IS 1451.5 FEET

  THE CURRENT HEIGHT OF  STUMP LAKE NEAR LAKOTA  IS 1451.5 FEET

 

.DISCUSSION...

EARLY WINTER HEAVY SNOWS IN THE DEVILS LAKE BASIN CONTAIN ABOUT

3 TO 4 INCHES OF WATER EQUIVALENT IN THE SNOW PACK...WITH

LIMITED SPOTS OF UP TO 6 INCHES OF WATER. THE ESTIMATED SNOW

WATER EQUIVALENT USED IN THE MODELS FOR THIS MONTH'S OUTLOOKS

ARE EASILY IN THE TOP 5 WETTEST YEARS FROM 1948 TO 2008. THE

CURRENT SNOWPACK CONDITIONS AND THE PAST 60 YEARS OF WEATHER

USED IN THE MODEL HAVE VIRTUALLY GUARANTEED A RECORD RISE IN

DEVILS AND STUMP LAKES FOR NEXT SPRING AND SUMMER.

 

IN ADDITION... THE OUTLOOKS GIVE A ONE PERCENT CHANCE OF THE

LAKE EXCEEDING 1457.0 FEET...A FOOT LESS THAN THE CURRENT

ELEVATION OF THE TOLNA COULEE OUTWASH CHANNEL FROM STUMP LAKE.

 

THE MOST RECENT USGS PROVISIONAL RECORD DAILY AVERAGE HEIGHT FOR

DEVILS LAKE AT THE CREEL BAY GAGE:

                ...1452.05 FEET ON JUNE 27 OF 2010

PREVIOUS RECORDS:

                ...1450.73 FEET ON JUNE 27 OF 2009

                ...1449.20 FEET ON  MAY  9 OF 2006

                ...1449.18 FEET ON JUNE 17 OF 2004

 

FOR MORE HIGH WATER MARKS...SEE THE USGS FLOOD TRACKING CHARTS AT:

 

         HTTP://ND.WATER.USGS.GOV/FLOODTRACKING

 

 

 



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