24 January 2014 - Spring Flood Outlook

Red River and Devils Lake Basin - 2014 Spring Flood Outlook
Talking Points for 1/24/2014
Contacts: Greg Gust or Mike Lukes, ph. 701-795-5119, NWS Grand Forks ND.
This outlook is based on conditions as of 1/24/14. Official textual and graphical outlook products are available at weather.gov/fgf and at devilslake.noaa.gov . 



Links to Graphics: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=fgf

Links to Text/Numbers: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fgf/scripts/localdata.php?loc=appahps&data=lpofar,




Bottom Line up Top:   At this point in time… the risk for substantial flooding appears low.   BUT… there’s a lot of winter yet to unfold!  An early thaw is less likely.


Between the 25th and 75th probability percentiles:

- A Minor to Moderate flood potential is indicated for most MN and ND tributaries.
- A Moderate flood potential is indicated for the majority of the Red River mainstem.
- A roughly one foot to one and a half foot rise would be expected on the Devils Lake.
Main Factors:
- Soils and streams are a bit “wet” in the far southern basin, otherwise near normal.
- Snow Water Equivalent (water content) is generally running a bit low, least in the south. 
- The rest of the winter season is likely to be near to colder than normal.  
- Soil moisture and stream flow conditions across the Red River and Devils Lake Basins are running mainly within the seasonal normal ranges, between 25 to 75 percent of seasonally adjusted historical values, with these notable exceptions: 
            -- Soil moistures for areas south and southwest from the Fargo-Moorhead area (ND Wild Rice) running higher than normal, better than the 90th percentile, due to carryover from heavy summer/fall rains.
            -- Streamflows on the Sheyenne River, below Baldhill Dam, and the Otter Tail River, below Orwell Dam are somewhat high due to planned seasonal drawdown releases. 
- Snowpack is very near long term normals, ranging from 8 inches in the far south to near 2 feet in the far north and northeast, highest along the CanAm border into the Lake of the Woods.
- Snowwater is somewhat less than long term normals, largely due to the much colder and drier winter airmasses experienced during this current winter period. Water content is running from 1 to 1.5 inches in the southern basin (south of Halstad), and from 2 to 3 inches north. Some three inch or greater SWE values occur across upland areas of north-central MN.
- Short-term Weather forecast... calls for continued below normal temperatures with above normal precipitation through February 6th .          
- Climate outlook through the spring snowmelt period… looks of the current weather pattern to persist from February into March and April. This climate pattern suggests below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation (water content), which should result in near to above normal snowfall – since colder air has less moisture and produces somewhat fluffier snow.
- The next Spring Flood Outlooks will be issued on... February 20th and March 6th, 2014.

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