Minn. drought outlook improves; watching snow melt, flood risk

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The area of Minnesota's landscape in severe to extreme drought diminished during February, dropping from 84 percent of the state's landscape to under 70 percent. This modest improvement was mostly due to above normal snowfall, especially across central and northern counties.

The new climate outlooks from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center suggest that, for much of March, the Great Lakes region will see above- normal precipitation. This is welcome news in the context of improving our drought situation, especially if we can lose the soil frost as well so the ground is more receptive to moisture recharge. In some areas, frost depth ranges from 20 to 40 inches; this will take some time to thaw out.

One potential risk of a wetter-than-normal March is the threat of flooding from snow melt. Last week, the National Weather Service updated the spring flood outlook for major Minnesota rivers. This new outlook calls for a near-normal risk of spring snow melt flooding on portions of the Upper Minnesota River, as well as the Upper Mississippi River. This is mostly due to more abundant snowfalls during February, along with deeper ground frost, which combined to elevate the risk of spring flooding from a below normal level to a near normal level. You can read more about the spring flooding outlook and keep up to date here: http://1.usa.gov/VZTAQn

Spring flood outlook probabilities for the Red River are also available from the Grand Forks NWS Office. These show a relatively higher risk of flooding on the lower end of the Red River Valley between Wapehton and Fargo, ND. You can get more detail at: http://1.usa.gov/YPUb69

The higher risk of flooding along the Red River is because the abundant snow cover already contains 2 to 5 inches of liquid water trapped on top of frozen ground there. A rapid thaw could cause a great volume of runoff before the soils are capable of absorbing the moisture. If this situation develops and is further compounded by heavy March rainfalls, then indeed this area of the state could see some moderate to major flooding. Thus state and federal agencies will monitor the gauged flow volumes on the rivers, as well as the weather very carefully during the month of March.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Aluminum Grain Trailers

Maurer Manufacturing offers a complete line of high quality aluminum grain trailers. Manufactured in Spencer, Iowa, Maurer aluminum grain trailers ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form