Expected Winter Storm May Have Effect On FloodingA major winter storm is predicted for our region over the next couple of days. The possibility of up to a foot of snow could have an impact on flooding.
A major winter storm is predicted for our region over the next couple of days.
The possibility of up to a foot of snow could have an impact on flooding.
The National Weather Service already predicts that the Red River has a 99 percent chance of hitting major flood stage in Grand Forks and that is before this storm.
"We're down to the final lap here. Hopefully we get this done and get through it on the dry side," NWS Hydrologist Mike Lukes said.
This storm could drop up to a foot of snow throughout the Red River Valley, which could cause the National Weather Service to raise its river level forecasts.
"From Minot into the central Valley, between Minot and Grand Forks. Heavy, heavy snow. We're talking a foot, maybe more of very heavy, wet snow," NWS Senior Forecaster Dan Riddle said.
Normal precipitation for March in Grand Forks is about one inch. This storm could bring even more than that all at once, causing worry for any other rain we may get throughout the month. It's also going to be turning colder, for awhile.
"It delays the full melt into later in the flood season, then we have the greater risk to have rain on top of that when it's actually flooding," Lukes said.
Flood stage is 46 feet in Grand Forks. Based on current conditions, the Red River has a 99 percent of exceeding that.
The storm moving in will affect the outlook, but forecasters say it's too early to tell how much.
"It certainly is not unusual to get a late winter, early spring snow storm in our area. Certainly there have been worse ones," Riddle said.
"We have a saying here, every flood is different and in the Valley it's a common saying. So how this one turns out, we'll find out after it happens," Lukes said.
Forecasters say this type of storm is not uncommon this time of year but adds to the probability of higher river levels.
The National Weather Service say they hope to come out with an updated flooding outlook by Thursday or Friday.