Extended Streamflow Guidance
Issued by NWS North Central River Forecast Center

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UPPER MIDWEST SPRING SNOWMELT AND FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NWS NORTH CENTRAL RIVER FORECAST CENTER TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1120 AM CST WED MAR 1 2017

FOR A LINK TO THE NCRFC 2017 SPRING HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK, WHICH
CONTAINS SEVERAL REFERENCE GRAPHICS THAT RELATE TO THE SNOWMELT
SEASON ANTECEDENT AND CURRENT HYDROMETEOROLOGIC CONDITIONS, REFER
TO THE NCRFC WEB PAGE:  HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/NCRFC

THIS OUTLOOK REFERENCES INFORMATION FROM THE FOLLOWING PARTNERS:
- UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (USGS)
- REGIONAL CLIMATE CENTERS (MIDWEST-MRCC AND HIGH PLAINS-HPRCC)
- US DROUGHT MONITOR (NIDIS)
- NATIONAL OPERATIONAL HYDROLOGIC REMOTE SENSING CENTER (NOHRSC)


THE FOLLOWING 2017 SPRING OUTLOOK ISSUANCE DATES HAVE BEEN SET IN
COORDINATION WITH ALL NWS REGIONS AND NWS HQ:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK WITH
PROBABILISTIC PRODUCTS ON:
  * THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2017

FLOOD SAFETY AWARENESS INFORMATION WILL BE DISSEMINATED:
  * MARCH 13-17, 2017

NOAA NATIONAL SPRING OUTLOOK PRESS BRIEFING WILL BE ON:
  * THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2017

            ********************************
             SPRING 2017 NCRFC AREA SUMMARY
            ********************************

2017 EARLY SPRING BASIN CONDITIONS AS OF FEBRUARY 26, 2017.

SINCE OUR LAST OUTLOOK, TEMPERATURE TRENDS HAVE BEEN MUCH ABOVE
NORMAL. FEBRUARY MEAN TEMPERATURES ARE 8 TO 11 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL
FROM THE RED RIVER VALLEY, THROUGH MUCH OF MN/WI/IA/MO/IL/IN/MI.
PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS WERE NEAR NORMAL FOR ND, AS WELL AS FOR MUCH
OF LOWER MI. BUT ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS WERE SEEN FROM
IA/MN INTO WI AND NORTHERN MI.  MEANWHILE, THE TREND OF BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION CONTINUED ACROSS MO/IL/IN AND SOUTHERN IA.

WITH THE WARMER REGIME, SNOWFALL WAS GENERALLY BELOW NORMAL ACROSS
THE ENTIRE REGION IN FEBRUARY. THE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS WERE PORTIONS
OF ND/MN AND THE UPPER PENINSULA OF MI, ALONG THE INTERNATIONAL
BORDER. A STORM SYSTEM LATE LAST WEEK ALSO BROUGHT A BAND OF HEAVY
SNOWFALL FROM NORTHERN IA, ACROSS SOUTHEAST MN, AND INTO WESTERN WI.
SNOW COVER AS OF FEB 26TH INDICATES THERE IS STILL OVER A FOOT ON THE
GROUND IN THE SOURIS AND DEVILS LAKE BASINS, WITH AROUND 12 INCHES
IN THE LOWER RED RIVER OF THE NORTH BASIN NEAR THE CANADIAN BORDER.
THERE WAS ALSO A BAND OF SNOW RANGING FROM 2 TO 12 INCHES FROM THE
SIOUX CITY AND SPENCER IA AREAS, THROUGH SOUTHEAST MN AND CENTRAL WI,
INTO THE UPPER PENINSULA AND NORTHERN LOWER MI. THE LAKE EFFECT
AREAS IN THE U.P. SHOW SOME SPOTS IN EXCESS OF 2 FEET ON THE GROUND.
ELSEWHERE, THE LANDSCAPE IS DEVOID OF SNOW COVER.

WATER EQUIVALENT IN THE SNOW COVER REMAINS QUITE HIGH ACROSS
NORTHERN ND, WHERE BETWEEN 3 AND 5 INCHES OF LIQUID IS PRESENT.
LOWER AMOUNTS BETWEEN 1 AND 2 INCHES IS SEEN ACROSS NORTHERN MN, WITH
BETWEEN 2 AND 4 INCHES OF WATER IN THE U.P. FINALLY, IN THAT BAND FROM
NORTHERN IA INTO CENTRAL WI, WATER EQUIVALENT IS RIGHT AROUND AN INCH.

SOILS REMAIN RATHER WET ACROSS MOST OF THE REGION, ESPECIALLY OVER
ND/MN/WI, NORTHERN IA, AND THE U.P.  THE DRYNESS ALSO CONTINUES
ACROSS MISSOURI, SOUTHEAST IA, AND SOUTHERN IL/IN. DROUGHT CONDITIONS
THAT REMAIN ACROSS THE NCRFC AREA ARE IN PARTS OF FAR SOUTHEAST IA
AND SOUTHERN IL, WHERE ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) CONDITIONS CONTINUE. MUCH
OF MO IS NOW DESIGNATED WITH MODERATE DROUGHT (D1).

WITH THE CONTINUED WARM WEATHER, FROST DEPTHS ARE MUCH LESS THAN A
TYPICAL YEAR. FOR MO AND MOST OF IL/IN, NO FROST REMAINS ACCORDING TO
REPORTS. FROM IA INTO WI/MN/MI, MOST OF THE FROST IS GONE AS WELL,
WITH ONLY SHALLOW FROST WHERE IT REMAINS. THE ONLY LOCATIONS WITH
ANY APPRECIABLE FROST ARE ACROSS ND, NORTHERN MN, THE U.P, AND
NORTHERN LOWER MI. AND EVEN IN THOSE AREAS THE FROST IS MAINLY LESS
THAN 10 INCHES.

STREAM FLOW OVER NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE NCRFC AREA REMAIN ABOVE
NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, ESPECIALLY ACROSS ND, MN, WI,
NORTHERN IA, AND THE U.P. OF MI. FLOW NEAR THE SEASONAL NORMAL WAS
SEEN ACROSS SOUTHERN IA, IL, IN, AND MI. HEAVY PRECIPITATION AND
SNOW MELT AROUND MUCH OF THE NCRFC REGION HAS ALREADY RESULTED IN
SIGNIFICANT RISES FOR MANY RIVERS, AND SOME MINOR TO MODERATE
FLOODING IN SOME PLACES.

THE ONLY AREA THAT HAS BELOW NORMAL STREAM FLOW FOR MID-FEBRUARY IS
OVER PARTS OF MO WHERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS LINGER.

         **********************
          GREAT LAKES DRAINAGE
         **********************

OTHER THAN DECEMBER, WHICH SAW NORMAL TEMPERATURES, IT HAS BEEN A VERY
WARM WINTER ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES DRAINAGE AREA. SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER,
AND JANUARY WERE 2 TO 6 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. BUT NOVEMBER AND
FEBRUARY WERE 4 TO AS MUCH AS 10 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL.

SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, AND FEBRUARY ALL SAW NEAR NORMAL AMOUNTS OF
PRECIPITATION, WHILE NOVEMBER SAW SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL MOISTURE,
EXCEPT FOR THE ARROWHEAD OF MN. DECEMBER AND JANUARY WERE WELL ABOVE
NORMAL, WITH 1.5 TO 2 TIMES THE AMOUNT OF NORMAL.

DESPITE ALL OF THIS PRECIPITATION, THE WARM TEMPERATURES ALLOWED
PERIODIC MELTING, AND KEPT THE GREAT LAKES FROM MAKING A LARGE
AMOUNT OF ICE COVER. A SIGNIFICANT SNOW PACK REMAINS ACROSS THE
MN ARROWHEAD AND THE UPPER PENINSULA, AS WELL AS THE LAKE EFFECT
AREAS OF NORTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN. AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 2 FEET ARE STILL
ON THE GROUND IN SOME AREAS. LAST WEEK`S STORM LEFT A SNOW COVER OF
3 TO 8 INCHES ACROSS NORTHEAST WI. OTHERWISE THERE IS VERY LITTLE
SNOW REMAINING. THE AREAS WITH LESS SNOW HAVE WATER EQUIVALENT
VALUES OF AN INCH OR LESS, WHILE THE LAKE EFFECT AREAS SHOW LOCALLY
UP TO 4 OR 6 INCHES. RIVER FLOW IS NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL, WITH MOIST
SOILS AND SHALLOW FROST DEPTH.

       **********************************
        UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER DRAINAGE
       **********************************

OTHER THAN DECEMBER, WHICH SAW NORMAL OR EVEN SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL
TEMPERATURES, IT HAS BEEN A VERY WARM WINTER ACROSS THE UPPER
MISSISSIPPI DRAINAGE. SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, AND JANUARY ALL SAW
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES 1 TO 5 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. BUT NOVEMBER AND
FEBRUARY WERE EVEN WARMER, RANGING FROM 5 TO AS MUCH AS 10 DEGREES
ABOVE NORMAL, WITH SEVERAL RECORD HIGHS SET.

MANY AREAS IN THE DRAINAGE SAW NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL
THROUGH THE BULK OF THE WINTER, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SOUTHERN
IA, NORTHERN MO, AND SOUTHERN IL/IN, WHICH WERE WELL BELOW NORMAL.

THE WARM TEMPERATURES ALLOWED FOR PERIODIC MELTING PERIODS, SO THE
SNOW COVER MELTED OFF IN MANY PLACES. THE ONLY APPRECIABLE SNOW COVER
THAT REMAINS IS THANKS TO THE STORM SYSTEM THAT CAME THROUGH LATE
LAST WEEK. SNOW RANGING FROM 2 TO 12 INCHES LIES ALONG A LINE FROM
THE SIOUX CITY AND SPENCER IA AREAS, THROUGH SOUTHEAST MN AND CENTRAL
WI, INTO THE UPPER PENINSULA. ELSEWHERE, LITTLE OR NO SNOW REMAINS.
THE AREAS WITH SNOW HAVE WATER EQUIVALENT VALUES AROUND AN INCH.

RIVER FLOW IS ABOVE NORMAL ROUGHLY NORTH OF INTERSTATE 80. IN FACT,
FOR SOME AREAS FROM SOUTHEAST MN AND NORTHEAST IA, THROUGH
SOUTHERN WI AND NORTHERN IL, RIVER FLOW WAS IN THE TOP 5 FOR
HIGHEST FLOW FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. SOUTH OF THAT WHERE DROUGHT
CONDITIONS EXIST, RIVER FLOWS ARE BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF
YEAR.

       *********************
        HUDSON BAY DRAINAGE
       *********************

RED RIVER OF THE NORTH RIVER BASIN

NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY SAW WELL ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS
THE RED RIVER BASIN, WITH READINGS FROM 8 TO 13 DEGREES THE NORM.
THE REST OF THE WINTER WAS ALSO GENERALLY ABOVE NORMAL, BUT MORE
LIKE 1 TO 2 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL.

PRECIPITATION WAS MORE VARIABLE, WITH PARTS OF THE BASIN ABOVE
AVERAGE, AND PARTS BELOW AVERAGE EACH MONTH. THE EXCEPTION WAS
DECEMBER, WHICH SAW SIGNIFICANT STORMS BRING 200-300 PERCENT OF
NORMAL PRECIPITATION. HEAVY SNOW AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS PLAGUED THE
REGION. PERIODIC WARM SPELLS IN JANUARY HELPED TO MELT SOME OF THE
SNOW, ESPECIALLY OVER THE SOUTHERN END OF THE BASIN. AND THE WARM
FEBRUARY HELPED TO GET RID OF A LOT MORE. THE ONLY SNOW THAT REMAINS
IN THE RED RIVER BASIN IS NORTH OF HIGHWAY 2, WHERE THE SNOW
COVER RANGES FROM 6 TO 12 INCHES. VERY LITTLE SNOW COVER REMAINS
SOUTH OF THAT LINE.

THE AREAS WITH LESS SNOW HAVE WATER EQUIVALENT VALUES OF LESS
THAN AN INCH, WHILE THE HEAVIER SNOW AREAS SHOW UP TO 3-4 INCHES.
THE SHEYENNE UPSTREAM OF BALDHILL DAM, THE PARK, TURTLE, PEMBINA,
AND RED LAKE BASINS HAVE THE MOST WATER IN THE SNOW PACK. RIVER
FLOW IS NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL, WITH MOIST SOILS AND FROST DEPTHS
BETWEEN 8 AND 15 INCHES.

SOURIS RIVER BASIN

TEMPERATURE PATTERNS OVER THE SOURIS BASIN WERE SIMILAR TO THOSE IN
THE RED RIVER BASIN, GENERALLY ABOVE NORMAL WITH AN EXTREMELY WARM
NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY. PRECIPITATION WAS ALSO ABOVE NORMAL,
ESPECIALLY IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY.

RIVERS, LAKES, AND RESERVOIRS ARE ALL AT OR BELOW THEIR NORMAL
LEVELS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, WITH THE ALAMEDA, RAFFERTY, AND
LAKE DARLING RESERVOIRS NEARING THEIR SPRING TARGET ELEVATIONS.
INCREASED DISCHARGES OUT OF ALAMEDA AND LAKE DARLING WERE DONE IN
THE LATTER HALF OF THE MONTH TO CREATE MORE STORAGE AND TO HELP
ERODE THE ICE ALONG THE SOURIS RIVER.

SNOW COVER REMAINS VARIABLE ACROSS THE BASIN, WITH THE GREATEST
DEPTH IN THE CENTRAL AND LOWER PORTION OF THE DRAINAGE. SNOW DEPTH
OF 1 TO 2 FEET IS STILL IN PLACE FROM NORTH OF MINOT AND RUGBY, UP
TO THE CANADIAN BORDER. WATER EQUIVALENT BETWEEN 2.4 AND 4.5 INCHES
HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THESE AREAS. FURTHER UPSTREAM TOWARD
SASKATCHEWAN, SNOW DEPTH AND WATER EQUIVALENT IS LOWER. SNOW WATER
OF UP TO 2 TO 3 INCHES IS STILL ON THE GROUND NORTH AND EAST OF
ESTEVAN, HOWEVER LESS THAN AN INCH IS PRESENT FURTHER WEST.

DUE TO THE HEAVY SNOW COVER THAT ARRIVED AT THE END OF A VERY WARM
NOVEMBER, FROST DEPTH IN THE SOIL IS GENERALLY LESS THAN NORMAL.
THERE ARE REPORTS OF UNFROZEN GROUND UNDER THE DEEPEST SNOWS.

DEVILS LAKE BASIN

THE DEVILS LAKE BASIN IS SEEING CONDITIONS VERY SIMILAR TO THOSE OF
THE SOURIS BASIN. TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION HAVE BEEN GENERALLY
ABOVE NORMAL, ESPECIALLY NOVEMBER AND FEBRUARY TEMPERATURES AND
DECEMBER SNOWS. WIDESPREAD SNOW DEPTHS OF 12-24 INCHES ARE COMMON
ACROSS THE BASIN, AND SOME LOCATIONS HAVE EVEN MORE. WATER CONTENT IN
THE SNOW REMAINS IN THE 3-5 INCH RANGE. RIVER FLOW IS ABOVE NORMAL,
WITH MOIST SOILS AND FROST DEPTHS BETWEEN 6 AND 15 INCHES.

$$

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