National Weather Service

Watches, Warnings & Advisories
NWS Homepage

Hydrologic Outlook


1203 PM MDT Wed Mar 21 2018

Warming temperatures through Friday are expected to increase low
elevation snow melt. The potential for impacts from this melt will
increase as well, especially for areas east of Billings where the
snow pack is heaviest.

Water flowing overland and accumulating in low lying areas may
result in low land flooding, water flowing over roadways, and
basement flooding. Increased runoff from snowmelt moving into
creeks and streams will increase the potential for ice jam
flooding. In areas where ice jams are already occuring this could
increase flood waters or cause the ice jam to break up. Muddy
roads may strand vehicles and impede or cut off travel in some
rural areas.

The severity of these impacts will depend on the pace of the snow
melt. High temperatures Thursday and Friday are expected to be in
the lower 40s near the Dakota borders to around 60 degrees along
the Beartooth/Absaroka Foothills. Overnight lows Thursday night
across the lower elevations may stay above freezing for many
areas. Cooler temperatures are anticipated this weekend, slowing
the rate of snow and ice melt. High temperatures on Saturday will
be in the 40s to around 50 degrees across the lower elevations
with 30s and 40s for Sunday.

If preparations have not already been made, now is the time to
move equipment and livestock out of low lying areas, and away from
waterways. Move heavy accumulations of snow away from home
foundations, and take steps to prevent water making it into

Stay tuned to the forecast at for the
latest temperature trends. If flooding is observed, report it to
local law enforcement and ask them to pass it on to the National
Weather Service.


Hydrologic Outlook

Hydrologic Outlook
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
304 PM CDT Mon Mar 19 2018

...Slow Spring Snowmelt Continues...

Ideal spring snowmelt conditions continue with temperatures the
past week or so warming above freezing for a time during the
daytime hours and dropping back below the freezing mark at night.
This temperature regime is expected to generally continue with
highs reaching above freezing through the next week with lows
dropping back down into the teens or 20s.

A weather system moving through the area will provide some light
accumulating snow for most locations late Monday and into early
Tuesday. The far northern Red River Valley and into northern
Minnesota will see the lowest snowfall accumulations (up to an
inch or so) while southeastern North Dakota, the southern Red
River Valley, and into west central Minnesota will see a bit more,
into the 2-4 inch range. This snowfall and associated liquid
precipitation amounts do not appear likely to significantly
alter the expected spring snowmelt and associated runoff.

An additional system late in the week and into the weekend looks
to bring additional precipitation to the area. Details regarding
this system are still unknown at this time so stay tuned to later
forecasts. However, 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 this spring.

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 the Upper and Lower Red Lakes).
Much of this area has snow depths of six to 16 inches with
isolated pockets of slightly more or less. The liquid equivalent
within most of this snowpack is slightly below normal ranging from
one to three inches. Across northwest Minnesota, slightly higher
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 through mid-April, with near to above normal
precipitation. At this point, significant snowmelt runoff does not
appear likely to begin until late March or early April.



U.S. Dept. of Commerce
NOAA National Weather Service
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Page last modified: June 2, 2009
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: for Safety, for Work, for Fun - FOR LIFE