MONTEVIDEO — Current conditions do not indicate any major spring flooding threats for the Minnesota River, according to the first flood forecast for the upcoming spring by the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
The forecast released Thursday states that the threat of major spring flooding is lower than that seen in a number of years, and that it's close to normal or lower.
The report points to two key factors. Soil moisture in the Minnesota River watershed is a little below normal, which compares to the previous two years when soil moisture was above normal. It also noted that the snowpack is below normal, with about two inches of moisture in most areas. There is less moisture in the snowpack in the upper Minnesota River area.
The report comes with a caveat. Much will be determined by spring temperatures and precipitation.
“It would take a major increase in snowpack through the rest of the winter, and/or a very quick warm-up with heavy rainfall, to create widespread major flooding” in the Minnesota River and the state’s other major rivers, the report stated.
The current forecast for Montevideo shows no more than a 10 percent probability for major flooding. The risk of major flooding at Morton is at 5 percent and at 1 percent at Granite Falls, based on current conditions.
The long-term weather outlook indicates a slight probability of near to above normal temperature and near to above normal precipitation, according to the report, but it added: “This is not a very strong signal either way.”