Hydrologist says dry soil from last fall proving beneficial during melt

April 13, 2023

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The warm temperatures are melting away the snowpack and, so far, there has not been much run-off into rivers in most of the Red River Valley.

National Weather Service hydrologist Amanda Lee said dry soil conditions from last fall are proving to be beneficial.

“Things are getting sucked up in that dry soil pretty quickly,” Lee said. “So, that’s encouraging and it’s a good thing. With that said, there’s still plenty of snow out there, especially on the North Dakota side. Once that soil does get fully saturated, we’ll start to have more runoff.”

Lee said the next couple of weeks will be key to the potential for significant flooding.

“The generally normal type of thing we see is the water heading north to more frozen areas,” Lee said. “Maybe we won’t have that this year because of this warming across the basin and the north having so little snow to start with – them kind of thawing out and melting everything before the water even gets to them. That would be ideal.”

There has been overland flooding in west-central Minnesota.