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John Wheeler, Published March 08 2013

Weather Talk: F-M flood forecast update not raising eyebrows – yet

The flood forecast update released by the National Weather Service on Thursday did not raise many eyebrows in Fargo or Moorhead. The 88 percent chance given for a “major flood” of 30 feet has few people concerned because 30 feet threatens no homes in Fargo-Moorhead.

The 50 percent chance of a crest of 33 feet is also of little concern. At 32 feet, the city of Fargo must build a clay dike along Second Street North to protect City Hall, but this is a pretty regular routine.

The 5 percent chance of a crest of more than 38 feet has few people worried because it is a very small chance. We are not yet worried because there is no reason to be worried.

But this is not the same as saying there is not going to be a more serious flood. The drought, which greatly lowered the flood threat, appears to be over. Water in the snow has rapidly become above average again.

Although there is not enough water now for a record flood, there is enough for a flood. Should the weather suddenly turn warm and start raining heavily, the spring flood could end up raising eyebrows after all.


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