Flood Potential Outlook
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND

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Hydrologic Outlook
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
302 PM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018

...Slow Start to Spring Snowmelt...

The spring snowmelt period has slowly begun as temperatures have
reached above freezing, for brief periods, across many locations
the last several days with increasingly stronger mid-March
sunshine. This weekend will bring even slightly higher
temperatures with readings reaching into the mid to upper 30s
across the Devils Lake basin and far northwest Minnesota, and into
the low 40s across the southern Red River Valley and into west
central Minnesota. However, temperatures dipping back down into
the teens and 20s overnight will continue to keep ideal melt
conditions in place.

Following the weekend, next week looks to be a bit cooler with
the possibility for accumulating snowfall early in the week. At
this time, precipitation amounts do not appear likely to
significantly alter the expected spring snowmelt and associated
runoff.

The current snowpack remains greatest across the central and
northern Red River Valley (mainly north of a line from Valley City
to just north of Fargo to roughly Bemidji). Much of this area has
snow depths of six to 16 inches with isolated pockets of slightly
more or less. The liquid equivalent across most of this snowpack
is slightly below normal ranging from one to three inches. Across
northwest Minnesota, slightly highest water content of three to
five inches can be found in the Upper Red Lake, Middle, Tamarac,
and Two Rivers basins.

The longer term spring outlook indicates below normal temperatures
continuing with near to above normal precipitation. Dry
conditions carrying over from last summer and fall, coupled with
near normal precipitation this winter, continue to point to a
below normal to normal flood risk across the Red River and Devils
Lake basins. At this point, significant snowmelt runoff does not
appear likely to begin until late March or early April.

$$

Lee/Gust


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