Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND
FGUS73 KFGF 101959
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA/GRAND FORKS ND
200 PM CDT THU MAR 10 2016
...SPRING 2016 THAW PROGRESS FOR RED RIVER OF THE NORTH...
...WARM WEATHER THIS WEEKEND WILL HELP TO OPEN AREA RIVERS...
. Current Conditions...
* In general...
- Most all of the snow-pack in the Red River of the North
Basin has melted...south of the northernmost tier of
counties in northeast North Dakota and northern Minnesota.
The melting of this residual snow is not expected to
significantly effect the streamflows in the basin.
- The top-most soil layer temperatures are at or above freezing
in most all snow free areas, while deep soil temperatures at
selected points are just below freezing down to the foot to
foot and a half depths.
- Larger and slower flowing rivers have ice thicknesses which
are variable from one to two feet...where ice exists. Faster
and more turbulent streams have areas of opened flow or
edgewater flow. Some reaches of rivers and streams
upstream /south/ of Fargo are flowing openly.
* Weather forecast for the next few days...
- Temperatures are expected to rise to and remain above freezing
from today /Thursday/ into Wednesday morning of next week.
-- Remaining snowpack will likely disappear and deeper frost
will start to draw out.
-- River ice on larger rivers and streams will become much
more fragile...with ice starting to break up and flow in
-- For instance...the US Army Corps of Engineers reports that
the Sheyenne River below Baldhill Dam is 40 to 80 percent
open through to Lisbon.
-- Large scale ice jamming is not expected at this time.
- Precipitation...in the form of light rain or an isolated
thunderstorm...is possible from late Saturday night through
-- Rainfall amounts could approach sub-basin averages of from
one quarter to one half inch.
-- Light rain turning to snow is possible from late Tuesday
into Wednesday...with cooler temperatures to follow.
* So...given the current state of the snowpack and river ice...and
with expectations of a continuing thaw cycle...the conditional
risks for spring snowmelt flooding are considered well within
the probabilistic values released on March 3rd...and below
historical normals. Thus...
-- No additional updates to the probabilistic hydrologic
outlooks are expected at this time.
-- Actual 7-day deterministic flood forecasts for river
locations will be issued if and when those locations
are expected to reach flood stage within the 7-day
* Ice jam flooding is possible during breakup especially in tight
river bends, upstream of bridges, or near river confluences. They
can happen quickly with floodwater backing-up upstream
and...once the water in back of the jam gets high enough to
break the ice jam...can release the water so that the
downstream reach of the river will have flood damage. If you
are aware of any ice jamming...please report this to local
law enforcement so they can relay it to us or directly to
our NWS Weather Forecast Office at 1.800.667.1218. or on
our facebook page or twitter at #rrnflood2014.
* As spring thaw conditions progress... the NWS in Grand Forks will
update these reports on a bi-weekly basis... monday and thursday
afternoons... until all rivers are flowing freely.
* Flood warnings and statements...as well as 7-day river forecasts
will be issued when river forecast points are expected to reach
or exceed flood stage within that forecast period.
The 7-day forecasts are presented as text products of daily river
stages at established river forecast locations and hydrographs of
6-hour river stages for the previous 3 days and for the next 7
days. These graphs and text products are available from the NWS
Grand Forks AHPS web page on the internet at:
then click on the "rivers and lakes ahps" tab above the map or the
link in the menu on the left side of the web page.
If you have any questions...contact the nws at 701-772-0720.