Water Resources of the United States
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:56:25 EDT
Summary: Forecast major flooding in the Red River of the North Bsain in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Flood Risk for the Red River of the North in North Dakota and Minnesota
The spring melt for the Red River Valley is shaping up to be the latest in over 100 years. Based on current weather patterns it appears that the forecast snowmelt flood peaks along the Red River of the North will not occur until early May, which would be the latest snowmelt peak since the early 1880ís when systematic record keeping began. The following URL shows a comparison of current flow versus the flood hydrograph for the 3 of the top 4 floods of record;
Major flooding is forecast all along the main stem Red River of the North. Current snowfall maps show snow depths of 20+ inches with an associated snow water equivalent (swe) greater than 4 inches, with many locations exceeding 6 inches or more of swe.
For the Red River at Fargo, ND (110 years of record), there is a 50% chance that this yearís flood will be in the top 5 floods of record and a 5% chance that it will exceed the peak of record that occurred on March 28, 2009.
All rivers and streams in the Red River basin are still ice covered, so USGS field personnel continue to make flow measurements to aid the National Weather Service in flood forecasting model calibration.
Due to the major flood events of 1997, 2009 and 2011, all gages along the Red River have been flood hardened to a 200 year flood level over the last number of years. Even with this effort, all gaging stations on the Red River have been analyzed to ensure that the gages will continue to operate at forecasted water levels. Backup water level sensors have been installed at all critical gaging locations to ensure data delivery throughout the forecast flood event.
Communication with other agencies as been carried out, through conference calls, emails and NWS Chat.
Current flood flow conditions in Fargo compared to flood hydrographs of 1997, 2009, and 2011
Sub-Region: Midwest; Region: Central United States