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Editorial: Weather to bring warmth and flooding

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After one more day of cool temperatures, the warm-up begins across west central Minnesota and the Midwest.

People began glowing Tuesday as word of the coming warm-up spread across the region. Many began making their plans outside for the weekend.

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The average first 60-degree day usually occurs March 25, but it'll arrive a month later this year..

The temperatures will go from the 30s early today to the upper 40s Wednesday and into the low 60s by Thursday and breaking into the 70s by Sunday.

This quick heat wave will result in a rapid snowmelt and resulting runoff across Minnesota. There currently is no expectations this year of any significant flooding in our region, including the Minnesota River.

However, the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota is preparing for flooding due to a heavy late season snowpack, a fast warm weather melt and possible spring rains.

Fargo and Moorhead have started preparing and deploying sandbags and building levees. Other communities are making flood preparations as well. Some cities, like Moorhead, are seeking volunteers through the weekend.

The Red River at Fargo-Moorhead is expected to surpass major flood stage of 30 feet Sunday and reach 32 feet by Monday. The river is expected to crest later next week.

The upper Midwest is not the only region facing significant flooding. Snowmelt combined with heavy rainfall last week have resulted in significant river flooding in MIchigan, Illinois and Missouri. The Mississippi River is nearing its flood peak from Davenport, Iowa southward to near Hannibal, Mo.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our Minnesota and North Dakota neighbors along the Red River's water levels rise.

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