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Forum staff reports, Published March 20 2014

Prospect of serious flooding in Fargo-Moorhead remains slim in new outlook

FARGO – The outlook still calls for light to moderate flooding in the Red River Valley despite a snowy forecast this week, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

Forecasters expect a combination of chilly weather and precipitation conditions well within normal ranges to leave earlier flood predictions unchanged, meteorologist Greg Gust said.

The risk for significantly heavy or above normal precipitation through April appears low, even with the possibility of heavy snow overnight and Friday in the northern valley. Lighter snow is forecast for the southern valley.

The outlook predicts the Red River in Fargo-Moorhead has a 95 percent chance of a crest of 22.8 feet and a 75 percent chance of reaching 25.2 feet, just over the threshold for moderate flooding.

There’s a 5 percent chance of a 36.2 foot crest. Major flooding begins at 30 feet in Fargo-Moorhead.

Ditches and smaller streams in the headwaters region of the southern valley are showing “intermittent stretches of open water flow,” with daytime thawing and nighttime freezing, according to the weather service.

A big chill is expected to follow the snow overnight and Friday, and below-normal temperatures should continue through Tuesday, generally below thawing, the weather service said.