Winter Dakota Flooding

It would be hard to convince North Dakotans that spring has arrived. Yes, the calendar says spring and, yes, the Red River of the North is in a spring flood mode. But, snow is still on the ground and today, temperatures are in the teens.

jc_nd_floodfriNASA Satellite Image

The satellite image above shows the snow cover over Minnesota, North Dakota, and western South Dakota.

The snow and cold is complicating the flooding on the Red River of the North that forms the border between North Dakota and Minnesota. The flooding has reached record levels and the frozen ground is forcing river overflow to run off rather than be absorbed into the soil. The region around the Red River is relatively flat and this allows the flood waters to spread out and affect a large area.

Ice jamming on the Red River in eastern North Dakota and the Missouri River in central North Dakota is causing river waters to back up. In the picture, you can see the Missouri river cut into the snow cover.

While all of this is going on up north, a blizzard is under way over portions of the central and southern Plains states.

Our rainy weekend forecast doesn’t seem so bad after all.

John Collins

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