The first crest of the 2011 "flood wave" is moving into the west metro today.
-You can find all of the latest river levels and forecasts here.
-City of St. Paul flood info & rivercams here.
The Minnesota River has crested and is falling today at Morton, Mankato and Henderson.
The Crow crested Saturday at Mayer, and has fallen about 6" since then.
The Crow has reached a stable crest at Delano of 20' and is forecast to begin a slow fall today and may fall about 2 feet by Saturday. The 20' crest is the 4th highest flood of record (FOR) on the Crow at Delano, and is .3' below last year's crest reached on 3/21/2010.
Historical Crests for Crow River at Delano
(1) 23.25 ft on 04/14/1965
(2) 20.45 ft on 04/12/1969
(3) 20.30 ft on 03/21/2010
(4) 19.95 ft on 04/15/2001
(5) 19.25 ft on 04/08/1997
So far it seems the first wave of 2011 flood crests is passing without major incident. In fact, ice cream sales were reported to be brisk in Delano as flood gawkers came out to watch the flood in progress and frequented local shops & businesses.
Anatomy of an ice jam:
Check out this awesome video of an ice jam at the bridge in Delano Friday filmed by city crews!
"Bubble" moves downstream:
As the "bubble" or "wave" of water moves along on the Minnesota & Crow, rivers are still rising downstream.
Here are the forecasts for crests this week on the Minnesota.
The Mississippi is forecast to crest at 19.2' Wednesday at St. Paul. This would be the 8th highest FOR in St. Paul, about 1 foot above last year's crest.
"Best case" flood weather scenario this week?
Our Canadian high pressure and strong late March sun are combining to create what could be a best case weather scenario to keep rivers in check this week.
The air mass overhead is just perfect for nights below freezing to keep water in snow pack locked up. Strong sun wars days above freezing, allowing just a little runoff release into rivers during the day.
Looking ahead, temperatures will warm to near 50 by late week, and nights will be mostly above freezing late week. But most rivers in southern Minnesota will be falling by then. Though it looks like we may reach a 2nd crest next week on many rivers next week, overall levels may have dropped by as much as 2 feet or more by the weekend.
We're not out of the woods yet, and rivers are still running very high this week. But barring any major incidents or dike failures, we're beginning to see a scenario unfold where we just may be able to thread the eye of the needle when it comes to flooding over the next two weeks or so.
There are two identifiable chances for precip over the next week.
The first one comes in Thursday, and may begin as (light?) snow before changing over to rain as milder air pushes north.
The second, and potentially more significant system looks to be mostly rain after an initial shot of snow..and rolls in Sunday.
It's early to pinpoint these systems, so stay tuned. If we get enough liquid precip (otherwise known as rain) with the Sunday system, it's possible we could see a second crest on rivers next week.
I love all of the weather graphics and annotated charts you put in the postings. It really makes the science of weather forecasting real, as well as showing why sometimes things are so uncertain.
Thanks for taking the time to teach and explain with your blog!
-John Reinert Nash