Latest Spring Thaw Outlook, March 28, 2011

HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA/GRAND FORKS ND
200 PM CDT MON MAR 28 2011

...SPRING THAW PROGRESS FOR RED RIVER OF THE NORTH...


...COLD AIR DELAYS PRIMARY SPRING SNOWMELT...


COLDER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES...WITH DAYTIME HIGHS HOVERING NEAR

FREEZING AND NIGHTTIME LOWS IN THE SINGLE DIGITS TO THE TEENS...HAVE
EFFECTIVELY SLOWED THE SPRING SNOWMELT FOR NOW. THE EARLIER MELT THAT
OCCURRED BEFORE THE MARCH 22-23 SNOW STORM SENT A SMALL AMOUNT OF
RUNOFF INTO SOME OF THE SOUTHERN BASIN AND MINNESOTA BASIN
TRIBUTARIES. THIS CAUSED SOME MINOR FLOODING THIS PAST WEEK ON RIVERS
IN THOSE BASINS. HOWEVER...RIVER LEVELS SHOULD GO DOWN BRIEFLY AGAIN
BEFORE THE SNOW PACK STARTS TO MELT AGAIN AND INITIATE THE MAIN
THRUST OF THE SPRING FLOOD LATER INTO APRIL.

RIVER ICE CONDITIONS ARE SHOWING SOME HEAVING AND CRACKING...SOME

WATER FLOWING ALONG THE EDGES...AND SOME OPEN WATER IN THE SOUTHERN
BASIN NEAR BRIDGES AND LOW-HEAD DAMS. THE MAJOR PART OF THE SOUTHERN
BASIN RIVER ICE HAS NOT YET BEGUN TO MOVE OR SIGNIFICANTLY
DISINTEGRATE. THEREFORE...SOME ICE JAM FLOODING IS STILL POSSIBLE
THERE.

. CURRENT CONDITIONS:


MODELED SNOW PACK CONDITIONS INDICATE THAT THERE IS STILL ABOUT 5 TO

6 INCHES OF SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT...SWE...IN THE SOUTHERN RED RIVER
VALLEY SOUTH OF HICKSON ND. THIS IS ALSO PRESENT IN A BAND WEST AND
SOUTH OF THE RED RIVER OF THE NORTH FROM HILLSBORO ND TO LEEDS ND AND
NORTH OF THE LINE FROM HARWOOD ND TO OAKES ND. ELSEWHERE...3 TO 5
INCH SWE VALUES ARE PREVALENT WITH SPOTS OF BARE FIELDS TO 2 INCHES
OF SWE IN THE NORTHERN BASIN...NORTH OF GRAND FORKS ND. THE RECENT
COLD AIR HAS COOLED THE SNOW PACK TEMPERATURES DOWN INTO THE TEENS TO
MID TWENTIES. THUS...SOME ADDITIONAL WARM DAYS ARE NEEDED TO WARM THE
SNOW BACK UP TO BEGIN MELTING.

RIVER LOCATIONS IN MINOR FLOOD STAGE OR NEAR FLOOD ARE THE RED RIVER

OF THE NORTH AT WAHPETON-BRECKENRIDGE...FARGO-MOORHEAD AND OSLO; THE
BUFFALO AND SOUTH BUFFALO RIVERS AT HAWLEY AND SABIN MN...THE WILD
RICE RIVER AT HENDRUM MN...MAPLE RIVER NEAR MAPLETON ND...RED LAKE
RIVER AT CROOKSTON...SNAKE RIVER AT ALVARADO AND ABOVE WARREN
MN...AND THE TWO RIVERS RIVER AT HALLOCK MN. THE BUFFALO RIVER AT
DILWORTH HAS REACHED MODERATE FLOOD STAGE AT THIS TIME. THE MAIN
THRUST OF THE SPRING SNOWMELT IS EXPECTED LATER INTO APRIL AND WILL
CAUSE ANOTHER ROUND OF SIGNIFICANT FLOODING AT THESE AND THE
REMAINDER OF THE RIVER FORECAST LOCATIONS IN THE RED RIVER BASIN.

. OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT 7 DAYS:


CURRENTLY...MODEL INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE COLD TEMPERATURES WILL

PERSIST INTO MID WEEK WITH SOME SLIGHT WARMING AFTER THAT.
HOWEVER...TEMPERATURES SHOULD REMAIN BELOW SEASONAL AVERAGES WITH
ABOVE FREEZING VALUES DURING THE DAY AND FALLING BELOW FREEZING
VALUES AT NIGHT. THIS WILL LEAD TO GRADUAL SNOWMELT CONDITIONS AT
LEAST THROUGH THE UPCOMING WEEKEND. NO SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION IS
EXPECTED UNTIL NEXT SUNDAY...WHEN THE NEXT LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MAY
AFFECT OUR AREA WITH A POTENTIAL MIXTURE OF RAIN AND SNOW. LESS THAN
A TENTH OF AN INCH OF LIQUID EQUIVALENT PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED
FROM EVENTS PRIOR TO APRIL 3RD.

. OUTLOOK FOR THE NEXT 8 TO 14 DAYS:


COLDER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH AN INCREASED RISK OF ABOVE

NORMAL PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED DURING THIS PERIOD. LOOK FOR THE
BEST CHANCE FOR PRECIPITATION FROM APRIL 4TH THROUGH THE 9TH AND THEN
AGAIN BETWEEN APRIL 11TH AND 13TH.

. BEYOND 14 DAYS:

THE SECOND HALF OF APRIL SHOULD CONTINUE WITH OVERALL TEMPERATURES
BELOW SEASONAL NORMALS. HOWEVER...THIS WILL BE PUNCTUATED WITH BRIEF
PERIODS OF WARMER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES AS WE TRANSITION BETWEEN
SEASONS. THE TREND FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION SHOULD PERSIST
THROUGH THE LAST HALF OF APRIL.

. ADDITIONAL HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK INFORMATION:


THE NWS OFFICE IN GRAND FORKS WILL BE CLOSELY MONITORING WEATHER AND

RIVER CONDITIONS AND ISSUE FLOOD WARNINGS AND STATEMENTS...AS WELL
AS 7 DAY RIVER FORECASTS WHEN WE EXPECT THE RIVER TO REACH OR EXCEED
FLOOD STAGE WITHIN THAT PERIOD.

REFER TO THE SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOKS FOR MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON

THE CHANCES OF FLOODING AT ON THE RED RIVER OF THE NORTH AND ITS
MINNESOTA AND NORTH DAKOTA TRIBUTARIES. THESE SPRING FLOOD AND WATER
RESOURCES OUTLOOKS ARE ISSUED SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE CRITICAL
SPRING MELT PERIOD...USUALLY FROM EARLY MARCH TO EARLY APRIL...
DEPENDING ON CONDITIONS.

THE OUTLOOKS ARE PRESENTED AS TEXT PRODUCTS AND GRAPHS FOR THE

CHANCE OF REACHING OR EXCEEDING MINOR...MODERATE AND MAJOR FLOOD
STAGES...AS WELL AS PROBABILITIES THAT THE RIVER WILL REACH OR EXCEED
THE STAGES GIVEN FOR THE RIVER LOCATIONS PROVIDED FOR THE FULL VALID
PERIOD AND FOR WEEKLY INTERVALS DURING THE PERIOD.

THESE GRAPHS...TEXT PRODUCTS AND EXPLANATIONS THAT HELP INTERPRETING

THEM ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE NWS GRAND FORKS AHPS WEB PAGE ON THE
INTERNET AT:
                  WWW.WEATHER.GOV/GRANDFORKS

THEN CLICK ON THE "RIVERS AND LAKES AHPS" TAB ABOVE THE MAP OR THE

LINK IN THE MENU ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE WEB PAGE.

CURRENT RIVER CONDITIONS FOR ALL RIVER FORECAST POINTS IN THE RED

RIVER OF THE NORTH BASIN AND DEVILS/STUMP LAKE CONDITIONS ARE ALSO
AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE...AS WELL AS THE 7-DAY FORECASTS WHEN
THE RIVER AT THE FORECAST POINT IS IN OR NEAR FLOOD.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS...CONTACT THE NWS AT 701-772-0720.


$$

TEAM FGF
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