Forum News Service, Published April 01 2013
Above-normal weekend rain and snow could raise flood chances
“It’s something to pay attention to. Where and how much is still pretty much in the air right now,” said Greg Gust, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.
Forecasters expect a combination of rain and snow to arrive in the valley from eastern South Dakota by Friday or Saturday. The current forecast calls for a half-inch to one inch of moisture from the system.
The latest spring flood outlook is pointed toward major flooding throughout much of the valley. That outlook factors in a quarter- to a half-inch of moisture through this period, Gust said.
Normal precipitation during a week in April ranges from 0.25 to 0.40 of an inch, Gust said.
“If that’s what we get, it shouldn’t affect the outlook,” he said. “But if it’s twice that, it would be significant.”
Meanwhile, the Easter Sunday cold front temporarily stalled the spring thaw, according to the weather service. However, temperatures are expected to warm up as the week progresses.
Snowpack temperatures are slowly rising, to near the thawing point, in the southeastern part of the basin. Large-scale melting is expected to resume later this week in the southern part of the valley.
The weather service will be closely monitoring the weather and rivers and will issue flood outlook updates as necessary, Gust said.