Posted at 4:40 PM on March 12, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Flood warnings have now been expanded to include the Red River Valley and other rivers in the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota. These warnings expand the areas that are under flood warnings in the Upper Midwest. Flood warnings are also posted for the Minnesota, Crow, and several additional rivers in southern Minnesota and Iowa.
Most of the rivers will reach flood stage in the coming week. The recent rain and accelerated snow melt have triggered rapid rises in river levels. That trend will only increase in the next few days as rain and melt water feeds into area rivers.
Warm surge keeps flood threat high:
An unseasonably warm ridge of high pressure will build in over the Upper Midwest next week. As the prospects for a return to sunshine increase, it appears temperatures will surge well into the 50s for many locations in Minnesota in the coming week.
Whe we hit 50 in the metro, it will be the first time since November. Many locations in northern Minnesot ahave already reached 50 degrees this week due to more sunshine and lack of snow cover.
The temperature surge is great news for melting remaining snow and for those who want spring like weather. But as is usually the case with weather, there's a down side too. The warmth will increase runoff from melting snow next week. This should serve to spike river levels well above flood stage in many areas. That's why the NWS is pulling the trigger on flood warnings well in advance.
It remains to be seen when rivers will reach crest, and begin to subside. Much depends on weather patterns in the next week to 10 days. Stay tuned, this is going to be a long story that will gradually unfold in the next two weeks.