NWS hydrologist: Second rise could come on most riversby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Cold weather could cause a second rise on most rivers in the state, National Weather Service hydrologist Steve Buan said Friday.
Some rivers forecasted to crest in the next few days will see lower water levels because of the cold. But Buan said the new snow we got this week will have to melt at some point.
"Just because it shaves the peak off there, that water got stored in the bank. That's going to come out during a melt," Buan told MPR's Morning Edition.
Buan said officials will also be watching for ice jams that could cause localized flooding over the next couple of weeks. The cold temperatures mean some rivers are covered in ice longer than they usually would be.
"Looks like it's going to be a prolonged situation this year," Buan said.
Buan said the surplus moisture southern Minnesota has had since September has made that area of the state more susceptible to flooding. Forecasters also remain concerned about the flood risk on the Red River in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
The concern for Fargo-Moorhead is that the rise has been pushed back by cold weather, heightening the risk for a rapid rise when temperatures hit the 50s or possibly even 60s in April, Buan said. The Red River Valley is also at risk if heavy rains move through during the summer.
"The area just really can't take a lot more moisture. We need a very tranquil couple of summers here in the Upper Midwest to kind of even this moisture imbalance out," Buan said.
(MPR's Cathy Wurzer contributed to this report.)