Extended Streamflow Guidance
Issued by NWS North Central River Forecast Center

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UPPER MIDWEST - SPRING OUTLOOK DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
NORTH CENTRAL RIVER FORECAST CENTER
CHANHASSEN MN
900 AM CST THURSDAY FEB 19 2015



    FOR A LINK TO THE NCRFC 2015 SPRING HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK... WHICH
    CONTAINS SEVERAL GRAPHICS THAT RELATE TO THE SNOWMELT SEASON
    ANTECEDENT AND CURRENT HYDROMETEORLOGIC CONDITIONS... REFER TO
    THE NCRFC WEB PAGE: HTTP://WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/NCRFC



    THIS DOCUMENT ALSO REFERS TO INFORMATION FROM THE FOLLOWING:

    UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (USGS)
    REGIONAL CLIMATE CENTERS (MRCC AND HPRCC)
    US DROUGHT MONITOR (NIDIS) AND
    NATIONAL OPERATIONAL REMOTE SENSING CENTER (NOHRSC)



      ******************************

      SPRING 2015 NCRFC AREA SUMMARY

      ******************************


THE WIDESPREAD LACK OF WINTER PRECIPITATION AND RESULTANT CURRENT
SNOWPACK CONDITIONS THAT ARE BELOW NORMAL OVER MUCH OF THE UPPER
MISSISSIPPI AND HUDSON BAY WATERSHEDS IS INDICATING A LOW LIKELIHOOD OF
ANY SIGNIFICANT OR WIDESPREAD SPRING FLOODING FROM SNOWMELT RUNOFF AT
THIS TIME.

ADDITIONALLY...DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPING ACROSS THE RED
RIVER VALLEY AND ADJACENT PORTIONS OF THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI BASIN.  THIS
WILL FURTHER INHIBIT RUNOFF PRODUCTION FROM SNOWMELT AND SPRING RAINFALL.

HOWEVER...THE CHANCES FOR SPRING FLOODING REMAIN NEAR CLIMATOLOGICAL
NORMAL FOR THE GREAT LAKES REGION DUE TO SOMEWHAT HIGHER WINTER SNOWFALL
IN FAVORABLE LAKE EFFECT REGIONS OF MICHIGAN AND NORTHERN INDIANA.

AS ALWAYS...ICE JAM FLOODING IS POSSIBLE DURING THE SPRING MELT PERIOD...
ICE JAMS HAVE BEEN OCCURRING ALL WINTER LONG AS TEMPERATURE PATTERNS HAVE
VARIED ABOVE AND BELOW FREEZING SEVERAL TIMES THIS WINTER.  THE RECENT
COLD WAVE HAS ALLOWED ICE TO REFORM ON MANY RIVERS DEEP INTO MISSOURI AND
ILLINOIS.

IF THE TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION PATTERNS SHIFT OVER THE REMAINING
WEEKS OF WINTER...CONDITIONS COULD CHANGE AND ICE AND SNOWMELT MAY BECOME
MORE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTORS DURING THE SPRING SEASON.

SEE THE FOLLOWING SUMMARIES BY MAJOR NCRFC DRAINAGE AREA...HUDSON BAY...
GREAT LAKES AND UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER...FOR MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON
CURRENT AND PAST BASIN HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS.


     NEXT SPRING OUTLOOK... WEDNESDAY MARCH 4, 2015


*******************

HUDSON BAY DRAINAGE

*******************

***  SOURIS RIVER BASIN

THE FALL SEASON RECORDED NEAR AVERAGE PRECIPITATION IN THE WESTERN BASIN
AND BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION IN THE EAST.  FALL TEMPERATURES WERE
BELOW NORMAL...LIKELY PRODUCING BELOW AVERAGE EVAPOTRANSPIRATION.  TOPSOIL
MOISTURE IS CONSIDERED NEAR NORMAL WITH SUBSOIL MOISTURE BEING ABOVE
NORMAL.  SOIL MOISTURE LEVELS BECOME SOMEWHAT DRIER IN THE EASTERN
PORTION OF THE BASIN.  WINTER PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN NEAR TO SLIGHTLY
ABOVE NORMAL WITH THE HIGHER AMOUNTS IN THE WEST.  THE WINTER HAS SEEN
SEVERAL THAW PERIODS AND THUS VISUAL ACCOUNTS OF THE BASIN SNOWPACK
INDICATE BELOW NORMAL CONDITIONS.

***  DEVILS LAKE BASIN

FALL SEASON PRECIPITATION WAS WELL BELOW NORMAL.  WINTER
PRECIPITATION TO DATE HAS ALSO BEEN BELOW NORMAL.  CURRENT SNOWPACK
CONDITIONS INDICATE WATER CONTENTS NEAR ONE INCH IN THE NORTHERN
WATERSHEDS TO ONE-HALF INCH OR LESS IN THE DEVILS LAKE AREA.  THE
LACK OF SNOW COVER AND NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES THIS
WINTER HAS ALLOWED THE SOIL TO FREEZE TO NEAR HISTORICAL AVERAGES OF
2 TO 4 FEET.  AT THIS TIME...THERE IS A REDUCED CHANCE OF HAVING
TOTAL SEASONAL INFLOW NEAR THE HISTORICAL NORMAL.

***  RED RIVER OF THE NORTH RIVER BASIN

LATE SUMMER AND FALL RECORDED BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE
RED RIVER VALLEY...WITH THE HIGHEST DEFICITS FROM NORMAL IN THE
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PORTIONS.  THE WINTER SEASON HAS CONTINUED WITH
BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION WITH THE LARGEST DEFICITS RECORDED IN
EASTCENTRAL AND NORTHEAST NORTH DAKOTA.  THERE HAS BEEN LESS THAN 50
PERCENT OF NORMAL PRECIPITATION IN THIS REGION.  THE LACK OF SNOW
COVER AND NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES THIS WINTER HAS
ALLOWED THE SOIL TO FREEZE TO NEAR HISTORICAL AVERAGES OF 2 TO 4
FEET.  WITH DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVING SET IN DURING THE FALL AND
BELOW NORMAL WINTER PRECIPITATION...THE CHANCES FOR SPRING FLOODING
ARE WELL BELOW AVERAGE ACROSS THE BASIN.

********************

GREAT LAKES DRAINAGE

********************

THE FALL SEASON OBSERVED ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FROM THE WESTERN
UPPER PENINSULA TO GREEN BAY...EASTWARD TO SAULT STE. MARIE AND
ALPENA.  NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION WAS RECORDED FROM SOUTHEAST
WISCONSIN TO SAGINAW...DETROIT AND NORTHERN INDIANA.  SOIL MOISTURE
CONDITIONS ARE CONSIDER TO BE WETTER THAN AVERAGE IN THIS AREA.
NORTHEAST MINNESOTA OBSERVED BELOW NORMAL FALL PRECIPITATION AND
THUS HAS BELOW AVERAGE SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS.

THE WINTER SEASON HAS BROUGHT NEAR TO SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL
PRECIPITATION TO MOST AREAS.  THE FAVORED LAKE EFFECT SNOW AREAS OF
NORTHERN WISCONSIN... THE UPPER PENINSULA AND AREAS OF WESTERN AND
NORTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN IN THE LEE OF LAKE MICHIGAN HAVE SEEN ABOVE
NORMAL PRECIPITATION.  SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN IS ALSO INCLUDED IN THE
ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION CATEGORY.  SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT
MEASUREMENTS INDICATE ABOVE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF WATER IN THE SNOWPACK
FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR IN THE AREAS DESCRIBED ABOVE.

WINTER TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN BELOW AVERAGE...PUSHING FROST DEPTHS
TO NEAR 3 FEET IN THE WESTERN AND NORTHERN AREAS WHILE REPORTED
FROST DEPTHS IN LOWER MICHIGAN ARE 1 TO 2 FEET.

CURRENT NATURAL STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS ARE NEAR TO SOMEWHAT BELOW
NORMAL AS REPORTED BY THE USGS. AT THIS TIME...FLOOD RISK IS
CONSIDERED BELOW NORMAL FOR THE LAKE SUPERIOR BASINS IN MINNESOTA
AND NEAR TO SOMEWHAT ELEVATED ABOVE NORMAL ELSEWHERE.  THIS ELEVATED
RISK IS FOR FLOODING AT THE MINOR FLOOD LEVEL.

********************************

UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER DRAINAGE

********************************

FALL PRECIPITATION WAS NEAR TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS
WISCONSIN...ILLINOIS...IOWA...AND EASTERN MISSOURI.  FALL
PRECIPITATION WAS BELOW NORMAL IN MINNESOTA.  AT THE ONSET OF
WINTER...DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED OVER THE UPPER
PORTION OF THE BASIN IN MINNESOTA WHILE NEAR AVERAGE SOIL MOISTURE
CONDITIONS PREVAILED ELSEWHERE.  STREAMFLOW CONDITIONS AS REPORTED
BY THE USGS WERE NEAR NORMAL FOR MINNESOTA...IOWA... AND MISSOURI
WHILE BEING ABOVE NORMAL IN ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN.

WINTER PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN BELOW NORMAL ACROSS THE BASIN WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF A SMALL PORTION OF CENTRAL IOWA AND THE HEADWATER
BASINS OF THE CHIPPEWA AND WISCONSIN RIVERS.  REPORTED SNOW WATER
CONTENTS ARE 3 TO 4 INCHES IN EXTREME NORTHERN WISCONSIN AND
GENERALLY 1 INCH OR LESS ELSEWHERE.  ISOLATED AREAS OF NORTHERN
ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA SHOW AROUND 2 INCHES.  ALL IN ALL THE
SNOWPACK IS WELL BELOW HISTORICAL AVERAGES.

WINTER TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN BOTH ABOVE AND BELOW NORMAL FOR LONG
PERIODS SINCE NOVEMBER.  FEBRUARY IS RUNNING BELOW NORMAL FOLLOWING
A RELATIVELY WARM JANUARY.  AS A RESULT...SOIL FROST IS AGAIN
BUILDING ACROSS THE BASIN WITH 2 TO 3 FEET REPORTED IN MINNESOTA AND
WISCONSIN 1 TO 2 FEET IN IOWA AND UP TO 1 FOOT IN ILLINOIS...INDIANA
AND MISSOURI.  THESE REPORTS ARE NEAR NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

WHEN LOOKING AT ALL THESE FACTORS...THE CHANCES FOR WIDESPREAD
FLOODING DUE TO SNOWMELT THIS SPRING ARE LOW.  MUCH OF THE BASIN HAS
NORMAL OR BELOW NORMAL RISK FOR FLOODING.  THE KANKAKEE AND UPPER
ILLINOIS RIVER HAVE A SLIGHTLY ELEVATED RISK FOR FLOODING DUE TO
WETTER SOIL MOISTURE CONDITION FROM PERIODIC MELTS AND HAVING 1 TO 2
INCHES OF SNOW WATER CONTENT.

$$

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