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FGUS73 KFGF 012026
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
326 PM CDT Mon Apr 1 2019
...LATE WEEK WARM UP WILL ACCELERATE SNOWMELT AND INCREASE
RUNOFF ACROSS THE BASIN...
The slow melt will continue through the first half of this week as
temperatures rise above freezing during the day but drop below the
freezing mark again overnight. A warming trend is on tap for late
this week and throughout the weekend which will accelerate
snowmelt and increase runoff throughout the entire basin.
Overall flood risk...
Peak river levels due to snowmelt have likely occurred on the Red
River at Wahpeton/Breckenridge. Preliminarily, this crest
occurred early Monday morning around the 75% value of the March
15th probabilistic guidance. Barring any significant precipitation
in the coming weeks, the remainder of the Red River basin will
also likely see peak river levels in the 75% to 90% range of the
probabilistic guidance issued March 15th.
However, these peak river levels will still be contingent upon
future precipitation. If significant precipitation happens to
occur (especially concurrent with peak snowmelt rises), river
levels will be prone to reaching higher levels, likely above the
50% stage levels of the March 15th guidance.
Lastly, ice remains in the river channel for many locations that
are currently flowing. Ice jams have already occurred in several
locations with high probability of additional jams as the spring
melt continues. Any forecasts/guidance will likely not take into
account the full extent of possible ice impacts.
Cooler conditions across the region this past weekend allowed the
slow and gentle melt/thaw cycle to continue.
Southern basin (roughly Fargo southward): The Red River at
Wahpeton/Breckenridge has likely seen its spring peak (due to
snowmelt) with water slowly making its way downstream to the
Hickson and Fargo/Moorhead areas as the week goes on. As for the
tributaries, the Buffalo and South Branch Buffalo rivers continue
to see moderate flooding with minor flooding due to ice jams
occurring on the Maple River in ND and the Wild Rice River in MN.
Overland flooding continues across the farther southern valley and
into west central Minnesota where numerous road closures remain
in place. Further west into southeastern North Dakota, there has
been some movement on local rivers and streams but plenty of snow
and ice cover remains.
Northern basin (roughly Fargo northward): North of Fargo, some
rivers and streams have slowly begun responding due to snowmelt
but movement thus far has been limited.
A favorable temperature pattern for a continued slow melt will
persist through midweek (highs above freezing during the day but
dipping back below freezing at night). This will change by late in
the week and continue throughout the upcoming weekend as much
warmer air filters into the region.
Beginning Thursday, a warming trend will take hold of the region
with above normal temperatures expected. This will allow
temperatures to remain above the freezing mark continuously
throughout the daytime and nighttime hours. This will result in a
bigger snowmelt and runoff push basin-wide.
As for precipitation, a few weak waves are expected to impact the
region throughout the week but precipitation amounts will be
The area is now experiencing a more widespread melt, resulting in
the issuance of 7-day deterministic forecasts for the southern
Red River, through Fargo/Moorhead, and adjacent tributaries.
Additional 7-day forecasts will be issued for points downstream
/north/ from Fargo throughout this week.
Stay tuned to further updates and/or summaries as the spring flood
progresses. Please see www.weather.gov/fgf and click on Rivers and
Lakes or on the Flood Briefing Page for the latest information
regarding the 2019 spring flooding.
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