Weekend chill, then warmer. Flood updates & flood cams

The last weekend of March will really feel like….the first weekend of March.

Canadian high pressure is bringing plenty of sunshine, at a price. The sun also comes with a side of chilly days and sub freezing nights. Temps are running a good 10 to 15 degrees below average this weekend.

Metro averages are 46/28 this weekend. Expect highs in the lower 30s and lows in the teens this weekend in the south, with highs in the 20s north and lows near zero far north.

Warm up still on tap:

The weather pattern still shows signs of moderation late next week. It looks like a slow climb into the 40s, then a boost into the 50s by next Friday.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 5t GFS MAX.PNG

50s by next Friday? (Click to enlarge)

Snow stays south?

It looks like the southward trend of possibly significant snow next Monday night & Tuesday is favored. The GFS appears to keep the system close enough to brush the metro with light snow Monday night, and maybe produce a few inches along the I-90 corridor. The European model steers everything way south, keeping Minnesota high & dry.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 5t HPC.gif

On the edge of southern precip next week?

This is still worth watching…stay tuned.

Flood updates: Better south now, Red River trouble later?

We’ve been (rightfully) focusing on rivers in southern Minnesota with this week’s weather causing rapid river rises. As we head through the weekend the flood forecast continue to be optimistic for the south. A few flood warnings have even been dropped for now along the St. Croix.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 5t river.PNG

-Latest southern Minnesota river levels and forecasts here.

The good news may be temporary. A warm up next week, additional snow melt and possibel future rain could lead to a second crest in southern minnesota Rivers in April. Here’s the briefing from the NCRFC.

Red River trouble ahead?

Now that the cold snap has improved the short term outlook in the south, let’s talk a little about the Red.

What was good for southern Minnesota this week did not help the longer term forecast for the Red River. MPR’s Dan Gunderson details the latest here.

Last week’s thaw did not melt much snow in the Red River watershed. This week’s storm dumped another 10″ of snow on top of already water laden snow cover.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 14 1 earl 1 SWE.PNG

The cold snap will delay flooding on the Red even more, but that opens the door to a potential rapid April warm up and potential for heavy rains.

Here are some detais from Friday’s update on Red River flooding from the Grand Forks NWS.

Key points for the Red River Basin, from south to north:

– All points along the Red River now have a better than 98 percent risk of major flooding.

– Wahpeton and Fargo, now have a more than 40-45 percent risk of exceeding 2009 flood levels. [in 2009 Fargo hit a flood of record at 40.84 ft, Wahpeton hit 3rd place at 17.5 ft]

– The flood risk at Halstad is back up to a 25 percent risk of exceeding 2009 levels.

– Grand Forks flood risk levels have increased by a foot or more due to a reduced margin of error for timing on Red River and Red Lake River crests, and increased Red River flows.

– Continuing north, Oslo now has a better than 60 percent risk for record flooding, while both Drayton and Pembina have had their flood risks increased only slightly.

On North Dakota Tributaries:

– The ND Wild Rice at Abercrombie has a 30-35 percent risk of 2009 scale flooding.

– The risk levels along the Sheyenne River from Valley City into Lisbon have increased by as much as a foot or more, to about a 25 percent risk of meeting or exceeding 2009 levels. Past Lisbon into Kindred, West Fargo, and Harwood the flood risks will likely meet or exceed 2009 levels (60-80 percent chance).

– Enderlin and Mapleton on the Maple River now have a 50 percent risk of 2009 levels.

– Risk along the Goose River into Hillboro has jumped roughly a foot, as recent snowfall has more than exceeded recent melt and runoff.

– Otherwise, risk along the Forest, Park, and Pembina Rivers has dropped just slightly.

On Minnesota Tributaries:

– Risk along the Buffalo River has stayed steady, as recent snowfall has nearly equaled previous runoff.

– Risk along the MN Wild Rice at Hendrum is now nearly 50 percent of meeting or exceeding 1997’s record [33.85 ft].

– Risk along the Sand Hill and Marsh Rivers is now around 30-40 percent of 2009 levels.

– Risk along the Red Lake River has remained steady with Crookston having a 35 percent chance of meeting or exceeding 2009 levels.

– Risks along the Snake and Two Rivers sub-basins have dropped by half a foot, while risk along the Roseau River has increased by about half a foot.

The bottom line for the Red is, the gun is still loaded so to speak. It’s now all about weather in the next month, and how quickly or slowly the snow melts…and how much rain we add on top.

Flood cams:

Here are a few web cams to track river levels, and see what river conditions look like.

City of ST. Paul webcams

St. James Hotel web cam Red Wing

Big Stone Minnesota River cam

Northfiled River cam

Have a great weekend!


  • The Science Museum of Minnesota is THE place to watch the Mississippi in downtown St. Paul. You can watch from Kellogg Plaza, but there are lots of prime viewing spots inside the museum that don’t require a paid admission. Or come for the exhibits; stay for the flood!

    If an in-person visit isn’t in the cards, you can view our time-lapse (live feed coming soon!) as well as a ton of other flood content on our current science website: http://www.sciencebuzz.com

    If you remember the 1952 flood, the 1965 flood, or the 2001 flood, or you have cool pictures or observations of this year’s action, we want to hear from you!

  • Derek

    I believe the correct url is http://www.sciencebuzz.org, not ‘.com.