Posted at 3:25 PM on February 27, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Spring flood outlook for the Red River at Fargo puts the crest into major flood stage. Details in the link below.
Weather people are trained to look ahead. I don't like what I see for the Red River in the next 30 days.
Yes, the geography of the Red River means it's flood prone. Flooding on the Red is not a big surprise in spring. But things look potentially serious this year.
First a rainy fall saturated soils in the watershed. Now heavy winter snows have loaded 3" to 6" of water content into the snow pack in the watershed. Under the snow frost depths are down to 40"+ in some areas. The weather maps suggest a rapid warm up next week, and the potential for more rain or snow. The week after that looks potentially active too. La Nina springs can tend cool and wet in the region.
Add it all up and depending on how the weather plays out in the next 30 days, we could have big trouble on the Red this year. The spring flood outlook issued today covers the details.
The big question this year is how well the additional flood protection built after the 1997 flood will work at keeping the cities dry. It worked pretty well in 2006.
Let's hope for a nice slow steady melt this year, and prepare for something more serious.