Spring Thaw Progress for Red River of the North

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

...SPUTTERING START TO THAW IN EASTERN RED RIVER BASIN THIS WEEK
                      BUT COOLER WEATHER SHUTS IT DOWN NEXT WEEK...

SOMEWHAT WARMER TEMPERATURES LATE THIS WEEK AND WEEKEND PERIOD SHOULD
PRODUCE NOTICEABLE SNOWPACK RIPENING AND SMALL POCKETS OF REAL
SNOWMELT.

WARMER AIR IS SLOWLY PUSHING INTO THE AREA...WITH DAYTIME TEMPERATURES
THROUGH THE FORESTED AREAS OF NORTH CENTRAL/WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA NOW
REGULARLY PUSHING DAYTIME TEMPERATURE MAXIMUMS WELL ABOVE FREEZING
WHILE NIGHTTIME TEMPERATURES STILL FALL WELL BELOW FREEZING. THE REST
OF THE RED RIVER CORRIDOR AND MUCH OF THE EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA UPLAND
AREAS WILL BEGIN THIS WARMER PATTERN FROM THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

SOME MIXED FREEZING RAIN AND SNOW IS EXPECTED FRIDAY AFTERNOON INTO
EARLY SATURDAY THOUGH WITH WATER EQUIVALENT PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS
PERHAPS REACHING A FEW TENTHS OF AN INCH IN PLACES.

MUCH COLDER AIR RETURNS ON SUNDAY...FOLLOWING A COLD FRONTAL PASSAGE.
NEXT WEEK THE RED RIVER VALLEY WILL SEE MUCH BELOW NORMAL
TEMPERATURES...WITH SOME AREAS WARMING AGAIN BY LATE WEEK.

IN URBANIZED AREAS AND WHERE THE SNOWPACK HAS BEGUN TO ERODE YOU CAN
EXPECT WET OR WATER COVERED STREETS AND ROADS. EXPECT SOME AREAS OF
BARE SOIL OR LAWN TO SHOW UP...EVEN SMALL MUDDY PATCHESAPPEAR...
THOUGH OVERALL SNOWCOVER EXTENT WILL PERSIST. THE SNOWPACK ITSELF
WILL SLOWLY WARM UP...AND COMPRESS...AS WATER CONTENT COMPACTS DOWN
INTO THE NEAR GROUND SURFACE LEVEL. MOST OF THIS DAILY MELT PROCESS
SHOULD REFREEZE AGAIN EACH NIGHT...CLOSE TO THE SOIL SURFACE AND ON
ROADWAYS MAKING SLIPPERY TRAVEL.

WITH SUCH A LARGE AREA OF DEEP SNOWPACK YET TO MELT...LIMITED
SNOWMELT...LOCALIZED RUNOFF WILL BE PRODUCED. THIS WATER SHOULD
SIMPLY MOVE INTO THE LOCAL DITCH AND SMALL STREAM NETWORK. IT NOW
APPEARS THAT THE WAIT FOR A MORE PRONOUNCED WARM UP PERIOD SHOULD
FOLLOW FOR THE LATER HALF OF NEXT WEEK. SOME SMALLER STREAMS COULD SEE
A SLIGHT RISE IN THEIR BASE FLOWS THROUGH THIS WEEK...BUT LARGER SCALE
FLOWS ARE NOT YET EXPECTED.

AREAS WITH LESSER OVERALL SNOWPACK...SUCH AS THE MIDDLE SHEYENNE OR
CENTRAL RED RIVER BASINS SHOULD SEE MORE TOPSOIL APPEAR ACROSS THE
COUNTRYSIDE THROUGH SATURDAY. AREAS WITH A MUCH THICKER
SNOWPACK...SUCH AS THE DEVILS LAKE BASIN...THE FAR SOUTHERN RED RIVER
BASIN...AND THE NORTH BORDER AREAS WILL SEE MUCH LESS OVERALL SNOWMELT
THROUGH THIS WEEK.

NOW THAT THE SPRING SNOWMELT SEASON IS COMING UPON US...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.

THE 7 DAY FORECASTS ARE PRESENTED AS TEXT PRODUCTS OF DAILY RIVER
STAGES AT ESTABLISHED RIVER FORECAST LOCATIONS AND HYDROGRAPHS OF
6 HOUR RIVER STAGES FOR THE PREVIOUS 3 DAYS AND FOR THE NEXT 7 DAYS.
THESE GRAPHS...TEXT PRODUCTS 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.

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

WE WILL BE UPDATING THE SPRING THAW PROGRESS REPORTS PERIODICALLY
DURING THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AS WE SEE CONDITIONS CHANGING AND UNTIL THE
SNOWPACK MELTS.



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