John Wheeler: The spring flood will be late this year
We are still at the mercy of the weather up until and through the flood.
FARGO — Spring flooding across the Red River Basin is being delayed by cold weather. Nothing more than nominal melting looks likely until sometime in April. Early April river crests are common, but this year could come later than early April. Despite the high drifts and huge piles of snow, there is actually less water in the snowpack at this point than in many past years with only modest flooding. However, we are still at the mercy of the weather up until and through the flood.
A slow thaw and a drier pattern in April will make the spring flood less of a problem. A sudden thaw combined with heavy rain will make the flood worse. What is more likely is uncertain weather, such as a drier pattern for a while followed by more snow and then some sort of warmup with a chance of rain, all of which will keep us from knowing what sort of flood we will have for a few more weeks.