Spring Thaw Progress for the Red River Basin - 1 April

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

...SPRING THAW STALLED FOR THIS WEEK BUT GRADUAL WARM-UP ON TAP
                     FOR END OF WEEK WITH POSSIBLE WEEKEND RAINS...

AN EASTER SUNDAY COLD FRONT BROUGHT FREEZING TEMPERATURES TO THE RED
RIVER OF THE NORTH BASIN TEMPORARILY STALLING THIS YEAR`S SPRING THAW
INTO THE FIRST WEEK OF APRIL. THE WEEK BEFORE EASTER DID PRODUCE
WIDESPREAD RIPENING OF THE SNOW PACK AND MOVED SOME OF THE LOCAL
SNOWMELT INTO NEARBY DITCHES AND SMALL STREAMS...WITH SOME VERY
SLIGHT RIVER RISES NOTICED AT SEVERAL RIVER GAGES AROUND THE
BASIN. AS OF TODAY...MOST RIVERS AND STREAMS STILL REMAIN
LARGELY ICE OR SNOW COVERED...WITH SOME OPEN WATER SHOWING
DOWNSTREAM FROM AREA DAMS OR RESERVOIRS.

THERE ARE SIGNS THAT THE SNOWPACK IS RIPENING WITH SURFACE CRUSTING
AND OVERALL COMPACTION TAKING PLACE. SNOWPACK TEMPERATURES IN THE
SOUTHEASTERN PART OF BASIN ARE SLOWLY RISING TO NEAR THE THAWING
POINT...GETTING READY FOR LARGE SCALE MELTING TO RESTART LATER THIS
WEEK.

AS THE SNOWPACK REWARMS...LATER THIS WEEK...THE WATER CONTENT WILL
CONTINUE TO MOVE DOWN INTO THE NEAR GROUND SURFACE LEVEL. WATER
SHOULD BEGIN TO TRICLE INTO AREA DITCHES AND SMALL STREAMS...THOUGH
SNOW AND ICE IN THE DITCHES AND CULVERTS COULD DELAY SOME OF THE
RUNOFF FROM GETTING INTO THE RIVER CHANNELS.

IN URBANIZED AREAS AND WHERE THE SNOWPACK HAS BEGUN TO ERODE YOU CAN
EXPECT WET OR WATER COVERED STREETS AND ROADS DEVELOPING DURING THE
DAYTIME...WITH A REFREEZE AGAIN AT NIGHT. EXPECT SOME AREAS OF BARE
SOIL OR LAWN TO SHOW UP...EVEN SMALL MUDDY PATCHES APPEAR. LATER
THIS WEEK...EXPECT SNOWCOVER TO DIMINISH MORE QUICKLY IN THE
SHALLOWER SNOWS OF EAST CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA...ACROSS THE FAR
SOUTHERN RED RIVER BASIN...AND IN SOME PARTS OF THE FORESTED UPLANDS
OF NORTHWEST THROUGH WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA. SNOWCOVER EXTENT SHOULD
PERSIST LONGEST IN THE HEAVIER SNOWPACKS OF FAR NORTHEAST NORTH
DAKOTA INTO FAR NORTHERN MINNESOTA.

NEAR TERM FORECAST. A TEMPERATURE ROLLER COASTER IS ON TAP THIS FIRST
FULL WEEK OF APRIL. THE COLD AIRMASS EARLY THIS WEEK WILL GIVE WAY TO
WARMER AIR AND INCREASED DAYTIME THAWING BY WEDNESDAY. THIS WILL BE
FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER PUSH OF COOLER AIR FROM THE NORTH THURSDAY AND
FRIDAY...WITH SOME SLOWING TO THE OVERALL THAW...BUT A SLOW
FREEZE/THAW CYCLE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE.

ANOTHER STORM SYSTEM IS EXPECTED FOR THIS COMING WEEKEND. AT THIS
TIME...WE EXPECT A COMBINATION OF RAIN AND SNOW...WITH ABOUT A
HALF AN INCH TO AN INCH OF LIQUID CONTENT POSSIBLE. A WARM RAIN WOULD
HELP TO THAW THE SNOW BUT WOULD ADD TO THE OVERALL SPRING RUNOFF.

AFTER NEXT WEEK...THE PATTERN THAT HAS KEPT THE REGION UNSEASONALLY
COLD FOR MARCH IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE. THE 8 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK NOW
CALLS FOR NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

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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