The dud flood

It’s becoming more obvious now that the fears of another major flood threat in the Fargo-Moorhead area were overblown, at least based on the predictions.

The National Weather Service’s latest forecast for the river has been downgraded again. This time it says the crest of the Red River will be 37 feet, down two feet from its prediction just a few days ago. The river level prediction for Thursday is now 4 1/2 feet below the prediction issued on Saturday. The Weather Service also says the crest will be on Saturday, rather than Friday.

Here’s the record of the changing predictions in the last week:

Forecast date

(7 a.m.)

Actual
Projection

issued on 4/7

4/8
4/9
4/10
4/11
4/12
4/13
4/14
4/15
4/16
Thrs 4/9
31.6
31.3
Fri 4/10
31.6
30.8
31
31.7
Sat 4/11
31.93
30.3
30.3
31.4
31.9
Sun 4/12
32.06
30.2
30.4
31.8
32.7
32.7
Mon 4/13
32.28
31.8
32
33.3
34.2
34.2
33.1
Tue 4/14
32.93
34
34
35.5
36.0
36.0
34.9
34.1
Wed 4/15
33.7
36.3
37.3
37.7
37.7
36.5
36.0
34.3
Thrs 4/16
33.95
37.3
38.6
38.9
39.0
37.7
37.4
35.1
34.5
 
Fri 4/17
33.81
39.3
39.3
38.0
38.0
36.2
35.2

34.3
Sat 4/18
39.0
37.8
37.7
37.0
35.5
34.4
Sun 4/19
37.3
37.1
36.8
35.3
34.2
Mon 4/20
37.3
36.5
36.4
35.0
33.7
Tue 4/21
 
34.6
33.3

The Weather Service says the lower crest estimate is because soil frost has decreased, allowing for more water to be stored in the soil.

As a frame of reference, at 37 feet, the water barely touches the sandbags of the families I followed last month on Riverview Circle.

So a lot of people wasted time on preparations for a second flood that isn’t going to happen. Will they be less likely to believe a prediction in the future?

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