Risk of flooding on Red River still low, meteorologists say
GRAND FORKS -- The risk for flooding in the Red River Valley because of snowmelt remains low, meteorologists said Thursday.
Snowpack for the Valley has been below normal for most of the winter, the National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Gust said in a news release. The soil moisture before freeze-up also was near to below normal, especially near Grand Forks.
Snow that has fallen in the Valley has had little moisture, which is good news for flooding potential, said James Noel of the National Weather Service. However, the lack of moisture has expanded the area of drought not only in North Dakota but across the U.S., he said, and this is the most widespread drought the country has experienced in the last four years.
“We’re expecting not a lot of change,” Noel said, adding drought likely will linger into May.
Gust noted that the depth of frost was deeper than normal. That’s likely because of shallow snow-cover, he said. Grand Forks measured 37 inches of frost depth while Fargo and Langdon, N.D., had 39 inches, the weather service said.
Most areas, including near Grand Forks, have a 25 percent chance of seeing minor flooding. The greatest probability for flooding is at the Two River in Hallock, Minn., the weather service said. There is a 95 percent chance of minor flooding and a 25 percent chance of moderate.