John Wheeler: The first spring flood outlook is not too concerning
The U.S. Drought Monitor has most of the Dakotas and Minnesota in a state ranging from "abnormally dry" to "moderate drought."
FARGO — The first spring flood outlook was released by the National Weather Service this past Thursday and it shows only relatively minor concern about spring flooding at this juncture. Although snowfall and snow water content were above average in November and December, the weather in January has been quite dry. The U.S. Drought Monitor has most of the Dakotas and Minnesota in a state ranging from "abnormally dry" to "moderate drought," due to two consecutive summers with generally less than average rainfall.
Because most of out annual precipitation comes in the summer, it is the summer season that is the major driver of drought. Spring flooding, however, is mostly driven by winter snow and early spring rain, but it also affected by the status of the soil moisture and the storage in the reservoirs. Like in any year, the spring flood outlook could change drastically if there is a drastic change to much wetter weather.