Flood chances on Red River remain low despite snowfall
GRAND FORKS -- Despite receiving normal snowfall, the risk of flooding in the spring remains low for the Red River Valley region, meteorologists said.
There was a slight uptick in the flood forecast as a result of snowfall across the region with some locations receiving up to 8 inches, according to the weather service’s spring flood outlook. The chance of minor flooding for most cities along the Red River remains below 75 percent, while there is a 25 percent chance the river at Fargo, Olso, Minn., and Pembina, N.D., could see moderate flooding, meteorologists said. The chances of a major flood is 5 percent.
“The risk for significant snowmelt flooding is still quite low,” meteorologists said in the report. “It remains near long-term averages in far northwest Minnesota, and somewhat lower than historical averages across the remainder of the Red River and Devils Lake Basin.”
Forecasters attributed the low risk of flooding to abnormally dry conditions, which could continue into the spring. Soil moisture, streamflow and snowpack are near to below normal, said Amanda Lee, a weather service meteorologists in Grand Forks.
The Devils Lake Basin saw a slight decrease in runoff risk from January to February after seeing below-normal snow accumulation, the report said.
March could be wetter than normal for North Dakota and Minnesota, according to the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center. It’s unclear if March will be warmer or colder than normal for the region, but temperatures tend to rise in the first month of spring, sometimes as much as 15 degrees, according to the weather service.